Johnson Earns EL Pitcher Of The Week Honors

Double-A Portland pitcher Kris Johnson has been named the Eastern League Pitcher of the Week for the week ending April 27. The selection was made by Major League Baseball Advanced Media.

Johnson went 2-0 with a 0.77 ERA in a pair of starts for the Sea Dogs last week. Against New Hampshire April 22, he allowed just two runs—one earned—on four hits and three walks while striking out six over 5 2/3 innings to lead the Sea Dogs to an 11-3 win in Portland. It was his first Double-A win and the first time he has lasted at least five innings at Portland.

On Sunday, Johnson tossed six shutout innings, during which he allowed five hits and no walks while striking out three, as the Sea Dogs beat Binghamton, 3-0, in Portland. Johnson lowered his overall ERA from 9.00 to 4.94 during the week.

Johnson, 23, spent last year at Single-A Lancaster, where he went 9-7 with a 5.56 ERA and led the JetHawks in wins, strikeouts (100), innings pitched (136) and starts (27). His ERA was third-best among JetHawks pitchers with 10 or more starts.

Johnson, whom the Red Sox selected out of Wichita State in the supplemental round (40th pick overall) of the 2006 draft, is ranked 16th in Diehard's 2008 prospect guide. He was ranked ninth in the 2007 prospect guide.

In addition, Johnson is the second Portland pitcher to earn EL Pitcher of the Week honors this season. Justin Masterson, who made his big league debut for the Sox last week before returning to the Sea Dogs, won the honors for the first week of the 2008 campaign.

The Sea Dogs, who are off Monday, own the best record in the Eastern League (17-6) and hold a three-game lead over Trenton in the Eastern League's Northern Division.

Quite a crowd: The Sea Dogs shattered their all-time record for attendance in a month by drawing 65,254 fans to 13 games at Hadlock Field this month. The previous mark of 54,201 was set over 13 games in April 2002. They will finish April with the third-highest attendance in all of Double-A and will rank 18th overall in minor league baseball.

The Sea Dogs broke the record Saturday, when a sellout crowd of 7,368 turned out at Hadlock Field to see the Sea Dogs beat Binghamton 12-1. That crowd was the largest April gathering in the 15-season history of the Sea Dogs.

The Sea Dogs currently rank second in the EL in average attendance at 5,020, just behind Reading (5,123). The Sea Dogs set a franchise record by averaging 6,483 fans per game last year, when they drew 24 sellouts to Hadlock Field. The club has set a new attendance record in each of its five seasons as a Red Sox affiliate.

Sea Dogs bites: The Sea Dogs lead the Eastern League in each of the triple crown pitching categories with 17 wins, a 2.72 ERA and 223 strikeouts…The Sea Dogs rank fourth in batting average (.267).

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

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