Red Sox: The Sox could only beat the flu for so long. Jon Lester, who made his first start on three days rest with Daisuke Matsuzaka sidelined by illness, struggled through five innings and Craig Hansen took the loss in his first big league appearance in more than 18 months as the Sox fell to the Angels, 6-4, in front of another sellout crowd of 38,172 at Fenway Park. Lester gave up four runs on nine hits and two walks while striking out two in five innings. Hansen struck out three in 1 2/3 innings, but Casey Kotchman's solo homer—one of two hits surrendered by Hansen—in the sixth inning gave the Angels the lead for good. David Ortiz continued to snap out of his slump with a two-run homer while the blistering Julio Lugo had two hits in his third straight multi-hit game. He is 8-for-11 in that span. Sean Casey was 2-for-4, his seventh two-hit game in his last 13 appearances. Every Sox starter had at least one hit except J.D. Drew. The Sox will finish a three-game series—and the seven-game homestand—this afternoon, when Justin Masterson is scheduled to make his major league debut.
Triple-A Pawtucket: George Kottaras hit a solo homer, his sixth round-tripper of the season, and Michael Tejera earned his first win of the season by allowing one run on four hits and one walk while striking out four over six innings as the PawSox edged Syracuse, 3-1, in front of 8,960 at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, RI. Dusty Brown had two hits while Gil Velazquez had an RBI for the PawSox. Four pitchers combined to allow just one hit over the final three innings, including Lee Gronkiewicz, who earned his fourth save in as many chances with a perfect ninth inning. The PawSox continue a three-game series against Syracuse today, when Charlie Zink is scheduled to take the mound.
Double-A Portland: Dustin Richardson allowed three runs in the first two innings as his personal seven-game winning streak was snapped in a 4-2 loss to New Hampshire in front of 6,977 at Hadlock Field in Portland, ME. The evening was not without positives for Richardson, who retired the final eight batters he faced, six on strikeouts. He was charged with three runs on four hits and four walks. The loss was the first for Richardson since last Aug. 7, when he fell while pitching for Greenville. A trio of Sea Dogs relievers combined to allow just one unearned run over the final five innings. Jeff Corsaletti and Sandy Madera each had two hits and an RBI for the Sea Dogs. It was the fourth straight multi-hit game for Madera, who has hit in each of his first seven games with the Sea Dogs. Sean Danielson had three hits while Mark Wagner had two hits. The Sea Dogs host Binghamton in the opener of a four-game series tonight, when Kyle Jackson is scheduled to start in place of the promoted Masterson.
Single-A Lancaster: The JetHawks were limited to five hits as they fell to Modesto, 3-0, in front of 1,957 in Modesto, CA. Dennis Blackmon was the only player with two hits for the JetHawks, who didn't get a runner beyond second base as their scoreless streak reached 17 innings. Chris Jones pitched well in defeat for the JetHawks as he allowed one run on three hits and one walk while striking out eight in 5 2/3 innings. Carlos Vasquez allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits and struck out three in 2 1/3 innings. The JetHawks will attempt to snap out of their slump tonight, when they finish the three-game series at Modesto with Jaymie Russ scheduled to take the mound.
Single-A Greenville: Luis Exposito hit a three-run homer and Felix Doubront won his fourth straight start as the Drive beat Asheville, 5-3, in front of 3,411 in Greenville, SC. Mike Jones went 1-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to 14 games. His streak of multi-hit games, though, was snapped at eight. Anthony Rizzo, who had his 11-game hitting streak snapped Monday, had two hits and an RBI. It was his seventh multi-hit game in his last 10 appearances. Oscar Tejeda made his season debut and had two hits and an RBI. Doubront allowed one run on four hits and no walks while striking out seven. His ERA "jumped" to 0.87. In 20 2/3 innings this season, Doubront has struck out 24 and walked just one. Felix Ventura allowed a solo homer in the ninth before he recorded his second save. The Drive continue a three-game series against Asheville 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: 4/24/08
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