Red Sox: The Tigers couldn't go winless. One of the favorites to win the American League finally moved into the "W" column at the Sox' expense Thursday, when the Tigers beat the Sox, 7-2, in front of another sellout crowd of 37,190 at Fenway Park. Jon Lester labored in defeat as he allowed four runs on five hits and four walks while striking out none in 5 1/3 innings. It was the first time in 28 career starts he has not struck out a batter. David Aardsma may have locked up a spot on the roster following Mike Timlin's return by walking two and striking out one in 1 2/3 innings. Bryan Corey, conversely, may have sealed his departure by giving up two runs on two hits and one walk in one-third of an inning. Manny Ramirez, Julio Lugo and Sean Casey—the latter of whom entered the game in place of the injured Mike Lowell—all had two hits apiece. Lugo and Jacoby Ellsbury each had an RBI. The Sox will try to win the three-game series tonight, when Tim Wakefield takes the mound.
Triple-A Pawtucket: Keith Ginter snapped a scoreless tie with a two-run single in the eighth inning as the PawSox edged Lehigh Valley, 2-0, in front of 3,365 at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, RI. George Kottaras, Brandon Moss and Jonathan Van Every all had two hits each for the PawSox. Five pitchers combined on the four-hit shutout and four relievers didn't allow a hit over the final 4 2/3 innings. Craig Hansen struck out two in two hitless innings to earn the win and Lee Gronkiewicz worked around a walk to earn his second save in as many games. Starter Charlie Zink allowed four hits and two walks while striking out five in 4 1/3 innings. Mike Timlin threw a shutout inning in his second rehab appearance for the PawSox, who go for the four-game series sweep of Lehigh Valley today when David Pauley takes the mound.
Double-A Portland: Jeff Natale's RBI single in the seventh inning was one of only two hits by the Sea Dogs and a quartet of Sea Dogs pitchers combined on a two-hitter as they edged Connecticut, 1-0, in front of 1,146 in Norwich, CT. Three pitchers—Miguel Asencio (2 2/3 innings), Kyle Jackson (1 1/3 innings) and Beau Vaughan (one inning) combined to throw five hitless innings of relief. Asencio, who pitched in the majors with the Royals and Rockies, was promoted from extended spring training earlier in the day. Vaughan earned the save. Starter Daniel Haigwood allowed both hits and walked none while striking out seven in four innings. Tony Granadillo scored the only run for the Sea Dogs while John Otness had the other hit. The Sea Dogs are off Thursday and will open their home schedule when they host New Hampshire Friday at Hadlock Field.
Single-A Lancaster: Reid Engel continued his torrid hitting by going 4-for-5 with an RBI to lead the JetHawks to a 4-2 win over Inland Empire in front of 1,050 in San Bernardino, CA. Engel is hitting .474, has recorded a hit in all seven JetHawks games and has notched two or more hits five times. Jon Still had three hits and an RBI while Daniel Nava had two hits and an RBI. Zak Farkes also had an RBI. Adam Mills earned the win by allowing one run on four hits and one walk while striking out four. Brian Steinocher allowed one run in four innings—during which he gave up four hits and walked none while whiffing four—to earn his first save. The JetHawks play their home opener tonight, when Jimmy James takes the mound against Lake Elsinore.
Single-A Greenville:: Che-Hsuan Lin hit a two-run homer and finished with three RBI as the Drive pounded out 12 hits in a 7-1 win over Lexington in front of 2,222 in Lexington, KY. Josh Reddick had three hits and an RBI while Anthony Rizzo, who entered the game with two hits and no RBI in 18 at-bats, went 2-for-4 with two RBI. Mike Jones had two hits and an RBI while Kris Negron, who entered the game 0-for-10, was 2-for-4. Starter Chris Province earned his first win by allowing one run on three hits and no walks while striking out three in five innings. Daniel Bard and Felix Ventura each struck out two in two scoreless innings of relief. Nick Hagadone starts the series finale against Lexington tonight.
Diehard managing editor Jerry Beach can be reached at email@example.com. To receive a free issue of Diehard, call 888-501-5752.
Organizational One-Stop: 4/10/08
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