Organizational One-Stop: 4/4/08

The minor league season began Thursday, when the Red Sox' four full-season affiliates went 2-2. Here's a recap of the action:

Red Sox: The Sox were off Thursday. They begin a three-game series in Toronto tonight.

Triple-A Pawtucket: The rehabbing Bartolo Colon sure looked major league-ready Thursday, when he allowed just one hit over five masterful innings before a trio of relievers combined to finish off the one-hitter as the PawSox beat Indianapolis, 3-0, in front of a sellout crowd of 11,981 at McCoy Stadium. Colon, whom the Sox signed to a minor league deal in February, was perfect against everyone but Adam Boeve, who singled in the second and walked in the fifth. Boeve was erased on a double play in the second and advanced to third base via a steal and a throwing error by catcher George Kottaras, but Colon struck out the final two batters he faced to escape the jam. Colon whiffed five in the 74-pitch outing. Indianapolis didn't get a runner past first base over the final four innings against Craig Hansen, Dan Kolb and Lee Gronkiewicz, the latter of whom threw a perfect ninth inning for the save. The PawSox were led offensively by Jonathan Van Every, who hit a two-run homer in the third. Brandon Moss delivered an RBI double in the third while Joe Thurston had two hits. The PawSox host Indianapolis again tonight.

Double-A Portland: Bubba Bell snapped a scoreless tie in the eighth with an RBI single and Jay Johnson and Iggy Suarez added RBI hits in the ninth as the Sea Dogs blanked New Britain, 3-0, in front of 5.289 in New Britain, CT. Suarez was 3-for-4 while Zach Daeges had two hits in his Double-A debut. Starting pitcher Justin Masterson was limited to four innings thanks to a power outage that resulted in a delay of nearly half an hour, but the highly touted right-hander was impressive in the aborting outing as he allowed three hits and no walks while striking out three. Jose Vaquedano earned the win with 1 1/3 hitless innings in which he walked two. Beau Vaughan recorded the final out for the save. The Sea Dogs face New Britain again today.

Single-A Lancaster: The JetHawks got off to a predictably high-scoring start, but Josh Papelbon allowed three runs while recording just one out in the bottom of the ninth as High Desert escaped with a 9-8 win in front of 2,419 in Adelanto, CA. Papelbon wasn't the only reliever tagged by High Desert, which scored single runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth before its ninth-inning burst. James Russ gave up one run in one inning while T.J. Large gave up two runs in two frames. Starter Travis Beazley allowed three runs on five hits and struck out four in five innings. Jon Still hit a two-run homer to begin a six-run outburst by the JetHawks in the sixth inning. Zak Farkes had three doubles while Jorge Jimenez had three singles. The JetHawks visit High Desert again tonight.

Single-A Greenville: Chris Province's first professional start was an impressive one, but it wasn't enough as the Drive fell to Kannapolis, 3-2, in front of 5,232 in Greenville, SC. Province, who made 18 relief appearances last year after he was selected by the Sox in the fifth round of the draft, allowed an unearned run on two hits and walked none while striking out three. Eamonn Portice took the loss after he allowed two runs on five hits and one walk while striking out two in three innings. Josh Reddick, one of only three players in the lineup with experience beyond short-season ball, had both RBI for the Drive. Reddick and Yamaico Navarro each had two hits. The Drive host Kannapolis again tonight.


Diehard managing editor Jerry Beach can be reached at diehardmag@yahoo.com. To receive a free issue of Diehard, call 888-501-5752.

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