Game Preview: May 28, 2016 at Lynchburg

GAME INFO:

May 28, 2016 – 6:30 pm

Game 49 of 140

Calvin Falwell Field at Lynchburg City Stadium

at Lynchburg Hillcats

ON THE MOUND:

LHP Matt Kent (2-3, 4.35) vs. RHP Mitch Brown (1-4, 5.23)

SOX LINEUP:

Joseph Monge          CF

Bryan Hudson          LF

Mauricio Dubon       SS

Nick Longhi               1B

Rafael Devers            3B

Danny Mars              DH

Ben Moore                  C

Franklin Guzman     RF

Deiner Lopez              2B

SERIES AT A GLANCE: The Salem Red Sox square off against an increasingly familiar opponent tonight as they continue a four-game Memorial Day weekend series with the Lynchburg Hillcats. The season series has been intensely competitive between the geographic rivals, with Salem sweeping Lynchburg at LewisGale Field from May 10-12, and then Lynchburg taking 2-of-3 from Salem at Calvin Falwell Field from May 17-19. Tonight’s game marks the eighth of 26 scheduled contests between the teams, and is part of a stretch from May 10-June 7 that sees the Red Sox and the Hillcats play 14 games against one another in 28 days.

ON THE MOUND FOR THE SOX: Salem will send Matt Kent to the bump, who looks to right the ship for the Red Sox and maintain his domination of the Lynchburg Hillcats. Overall, Kent is 2-3 with a 4.35 ERA in seven starts with Salem, however, the southpaw is 1-0 with a 0.75 ERA in two starts against Lynchburg. The Texas A&M product has surrendered just four hits in 12.0 innings against the Hillcats this season, while registering 11 strikeouts against only four walks. Kent began the season with Low-A Greenville, before being promoted.

MONGE, MONGE: Thursday night’s contest saw the Salem Sox debut of Joseph Monge, becoming the second position player called up from Low-A Greenville this season. Monge (pronounced YO-sef MOAN-hay) went 0-for-4 in his High-A debut, but went 1-for-3 with a double Friday night in Lynchburg. The 21-year-old native of Bronx, N.Y. was hitting .338 with three home runs and 13 RBIs in 37 games with the Drive before his promotion. In April, Mitchell Gunsolus played in seven games for Salem before returning to the Drive.

FLASH! AHH!: Salem has been aggressive on the bases this season, stealing 111 bases in 135 attempts (82% success). The Red Sox lead all of MiLB in team stolen bases, eight ahead of the Hickory Crawdads (Low-A TEX, 104) . Yoan Moncada leads the Carolina League with 30 swipes, and is second behind Yefri Perez of the Jacksonville Suns (32) for the MiLB lead. After starting the year by successfully stealing 18 of 29 bases (62%), the Sox have been far more efficient, swiping 93 of their past 106 bags (88%). The Red Sox had stolen 23 straight bases without being caught since May 18 before Rafael Devers was thrown out at second in the sixth inning Wednesday night at Potomac.

WHO NEEDS THE LONG BALL: A year after setting a Red Sox record-low in home runs with just 55, Salem has once again struggled to hit the ball out of the park. The Red Sox 16 homers are tied for the fewest in the league with Carolina. Before Rafael Devers slammed a third inning, three-run home run Thurdsay, Salem’s last home run was on May 14 against Wilmington a drought of 103.2 consecutive innings.

COMEBACK KIDS: The Salem Red Sox have made a habit of late-inning dramatics as of late, winning 10 games in their final at-bat this season. Sunday’s win over Winston-Salem was the eighth time that the Sox have won when tied or trailing after seven innings. Six of Salem’s last 10 victories since a May 10 comeback vs Lynchburg have come in its last at-bat.

MAY DAY: The Red Sox have posted a 16-9 record in the season’s second month, the best mark in the league. A victory tonight would match most May wins for Salem in the Red Sox era, tying the 2015 and 2012. Salem’s franchise record for wins in May is 22 set in 1974.

Game Preview: May 23, 2016 vs. Winston-Salem

GAME INFO:

May 23, 2016 – 7:05 pm

Game 44 of 140

LewisGale Field – Salem, Va.

vs. Winston-Salem Dash

PROBABLE PITCHERS:

LHP Matt Kent (2-2, 4.05) vs. RHP Thad Lowry (2-3, 4.19)

SOX LINEUP:

Yoan Moncada           2B

Mauricio Dubon         SS

Mike Meyers               LF

Nick Longhi                1B

Danny Mars                CF

Jordan Procyshen       C

Jordan Betts                3B

Franklin Guzman        RF

SERIES AT A GLANCE:

The Salem Red Sox complete their four-game series with the Winston-Salem Dash and look for another series win Monday night at LewisGale Field. This evening’s skirmish is the 16th matchup between the Red Sox and the Dash, by far Salem’s most-played opponent thus far. Today’s contest is the final time that Winston-Salem will play at LewisGale Field in the first half, with the Dash’s next trip to Salem coming from August 30-September 1. The game also marks the 14th game of a 21-game stretch without a scheduled day off.

ON THE MOUND FOR THE SOX:

Salem will send Matt Kent to the bump, who is coming off his two best starts of the season his last two games out. The southpaw faced the Lynchburg Hillcats in both outings, and allowed a combined one run on four hits and registering 11 strikeouts in 12.0 innings pitched. With the two quality starts, Kent lowered his season ERA from 5.91 to 4.05, and his opponent’s batting average against plummetted from .375 to .294. Overall, Kent is 2-2 in six starts with Salem in 2016, sporting the 4.05 ERA and a 23:7 SO:K ratio in 33.1 innings pitched. The 2015 13th-round pick thrives on weak contact and groundballs, and sports a 1.27 GO:AO ratio.

NOTES:

THE PEN IS MIGHTIER: Three members of the Salem Red Sox bullpen sport sub-2.00 earned run averages in the month of May. Mario Alcantara (1.59 ERA, 2 ER/11.1 IP), Taylor Grover (1.08 ERA, 1 ER/8.1 IP), and Ben Taylor (0.79 ERA, 1 ER/11.1 IP) have all been dominant this month. Austin Maddox (2.35 ERA), and Yankory Pimentel (2.79 ERA) have also had splendid months.

LEADER OF THE PACK: Even after a day off Sunday, Yoan Moncada not only leads MiLB players in runs scored (42) and steals (tied, 30), but he ranks among the MiLB leaders in walks (tied-second, 33), OBP (third, .454), and total plate appearances (tied-13th, 188). Moncada is the consensus number one prospect in the Boston organization and is a top-10 prospect in all of baseball according to all major rankings.

MAY FLOWER: When the calendar turned from April to May, Nick Longhi kicked his offense into another gear. Longhi is hitting .333/.426/.491 in the month of May, with five doubles, two triples, 10 walks, 11 runs scored and 14 RBIs. The first base prospect’s torrid stretch has raised his season batting line from .292/.354/.371 to .308/.383/.418. The 30th-round pick in 2013 has multiple hits in five of 16 games played this month.

COMEBACK KIDS: The Salem Red Sox have made a habit of late-inning dramatics as of late, with each of their last three wins coming in their final at bat. Salem has now won 10 games in their final at bat this season, and Sunday’s win was the eighth time that the Sox have won after trailing or being tied after seven innings. The Red Sox have won four out of their last nine games in their final at bats.

FLASH! AHH!: Salem has been aggressive on the bases this season, stealing 103 bases in 125 attempts (82% success). The Red Sox lead all of MiLB in team stolen bases, eight ahead of the Hickory Crawdads (Low-A TEX, 95) . Yoan Moncada leads the Carolina League with 30 swipes, and is tied with Yefri Perez of the Jacksonville Suns for the MiLB lead. After starting the year by successfully stealing 18 of 29 bases (62%), the Sox have been far more efficient, swiping 85 of their past 96 bags (89%).

PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE: The Salem Red Sox have shown a much more selective approach at the plate in the month of May, and have sported a team on-base percentage of .349 in the month. The Red Sox as a team have improved their collective walk rate from an already stellar 10.9 percent in the month of April to a downright gaudy 11.2 percent in May. The rest of the Carolina League has averaged a walk rate of approximately nine percent this season, meaning the Red Sox have walked about 25 percent more than the average of other teams.

Game Preview: May 20, 2016 vs. Winston-Salem

GAME INFO:

May 20, 2016 – 7:05 pm

Game 41 of 140

LewisGale Field – Salem, Va.

vs. Winston-Salem Dash

PROBABLE PITCHERS:

LHP Jalen Beeks (4-1, 2.57) vs. RHP Spencer Adams (4-2, 4.00)

SOX LINEUP:

Yoan Moncada           2B

Mauricio Dubon         SS

Jordan Procyshen      DH

Nick Longhi                1B

Rafael Devers              3B

Danny Mars                CF

Mike Meyers               RF

Ben Moore                    C

Bryan Hudson             LF

SERIES AT A GLANCE:

The Salem Red Sox head back home to the friendly confines of LewisGale Field Friday night to begin a new four-game series with the Winston-Salem Dash. The Sox look to keep the momentum in their favor after an exciting 10-inning victory last night against the Lynchburg Hillcats and extend what is now a three-game home winning streak. Tonight’s skirmish is the 13th matchup between the Red Sox and the Dash, by far Salem’s most-played opponent thus far.

ON THE MOUND FOR THE SOX:

Salem will send Jalen Beeks to the bump, making his eighth start of the season and the third against Winston-Salem. Against the Dash this season, Beeks has tossed 11.0 innings, allowing four runs (three earned runs), striking out 10 and walking only three. Last time out, Beeks was shaky but effective against the Wilmington Blue Rocks, throwing 4.0 shutout frames, but needing to strand 10 runners on base to do so, allowing six hits and a season-high four walks in the process. The southpaw is 4-1 on the season, with a staff-leading 2.57 earned run average, the fifth-best mark in the Carolina League this season.

NOTES:

LEADER OF THE PACK: Yoan Moncada not only leads MiLB players in runs scored (41), stolen bases (tied, 28) and walks (33), but he ranks among the MiLB leaders in OBP (fourth, .460), and total plate appearances (ninth, 179). Moncada is the consensus number one prospect in the Boston organization and is a top-10 prospect in all of baseball according to all major ranking systems. Moncada is hitting .328/.460/.504 with three home runs and 23 RBIs hitting exclusively from the leadoff spot. His 11 doubles this season are third on the team.

MAY FLOWERS: When the calendar turned from April to May, Nick Longhi and Danny Mars kicked their offense into another gear. Longhi is hitting .340/.438/.509 in the month of May, with five doubles, two triples, 10 walks, 11 runs scored and 13 RBIs. The first base prospect’s torrid stretch has raised his season batting line from .292/.354/.371 to .310/.387/.423. Meanwhile Mars has hit .264/.339/.377 in May, which while unspectacular on the surface shows a great improvement in patience and power compared to April. The switch-hitting outfielder has a double, triple, and home run to go along with 14 RBIs and seven walks this month, to raise his batting line from .263/.326/.325 to .263/.331/.346.

LEFT IS RIGHT: Salem sports a starting rotation with four southpaws, all of whom have been solid as of late. Dating back to May 11, lefty starters for Salem have a cumulative 1.06 ERA (4 ER/34.0 IP). In the last four starts made by lefties, the cumulative ERA drops to 0.41 (1 ER/22.0 IP). Trey Ball and Matt Kent spun 7.0 and 6.0 scoreless innings in their last starts, respectively. Each earned a 71 game score, the highest game scores for Salem starters this year. Ball also recorded a 70 in a 6.0 shutout inning, two hit performance at Winston-Salem on May 6th. Kent has allowed just one run in his last 12.0 innings across two starts.

FLASH! AHH!: Salem has been aggressive on the bases this season, stealing 93 bases in 115 attempts (81% success). The Red Sox lead all of MiLB in team stolen bases, two ahead of the Hickory Crawdads (Low-A TEX, 91) . Yoan Moncada leads the Carolina League with (28) swipes, and is tied with Yefri Perez of Jacksonville for the MiLB lead. After starting the year by successfully stealing 18 of 29 bases (62%), the Sox have been far more efficient, swiping 74 of their past 88 bags (86%).

UNCHARTED WATERS: With the two losses Wednesday to the Lynchburg Hillcats, the Red Sox lost consecutive games for the first time since April 21-23, when the club dropped three in a row to the Winston-Salem Dash. In the 20-game stretch between back-to-back losses, Salem was 17-3, a stretch including an eight-game winning streak and a five-game winning streak. It was the first time Salem has been swept in a doubleheader since April 16, 2014 at Carolina.

Goodbye, Benny Baseball

Goodbyes are bittersweet in Minor League Baseball. When a player gets promoted to the next level, one can’t help but be happy and sad at the same time. It’s great to see a talented player progress in his career and get one step closer to the ultimate dream of making the majors, but selfishly you are going to miss seeing that player compete every day.

With Andrew Benintendi getting promoted from Salem to the Portland Sea Dogs, those mixed emotions are in full force today. It was evident that Benintendi was not challenged by the competition in the Carolina League – not anymore and not at any point this season.

Everyone knew that Benintendi had an elite bat – that’s why Boston spent the seventh overall pick on him in the June 2015 Draft. What we learned quickly in Salem this year is that he plays a great centerfield and is a good baserunner, too. The term “five-tool player” is often thrown around lightly, but Benintendi is just that.

He departs High-A leading the team in batting average (.341), hits (tied, 46), doubles (13), triples (7), RBIs (32), intentional walks (2), slugging percentage (.563), and OPS (.976). His .413 on-base percentage is second on the team to only Yoan Moncada (.462).

The advanced statistics love Benintendi’s performance in Salem as well.  The statistic weighted runs created (wRC+), which measures multiple offensive categories and assigns a rating to a player based on their performance relative to league average (where league average is 100), rates Benintendi’s performance a 167. That means he was 67 percent better than the average Carolina League hitter.

For reference, Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper sports a 167 wRC+ this season.

He was clearly ready to take on the next challenge, which awaits him in Portland. The adjustment from High-A to Double-A is one of the hardest jumps to make in the minors, but if anyone is ready to do so after only 34 games it’s Benintendi.

One of Salem’s front office employees jokingly asked how many wins Benintendi has been worth so far. Since WAR isn’t a stat in the minors, based off a quick glance at his numbers a good estimate would be about 2-3 additional wins for Salem in only 34 games played. That’s a rate that puts him in the elite company of Harper and Mike Trout, comparatively speaking.

It has been an absolute privilege to get to watch such a talented player as Benintendi for the short time he was here, and we wish him nothing but the best as he continues his journey toward Fenway.

Game Preview: May 15, 2016 vs. Wilmington

GAME INFO:

May 15, 2016 – 4:05 pm

Game 36 of 140

LewisGale Field – Salem, Va.

vs. Wilmington Blue Rocks

PROBABLE PITCHERS:

LHP Dedgar Jimenez (1-1, 6.58) vs. RHP Josh Staumont (0-3, 3.71)

SOX LINEUP:

Yoan Moncada           DH

Mauricio Dubon         SS

Andrew Benintendi    CF

Nick Longhi                1B

Danny  Mars               RF

Mike Meyers               LF

Jordan Betts               3B

Deiner Lopez              2B

David Sopilka              C

SERIES AT A GLANCE:

After a thrilling, 10-inning walk-off win Saturday night, the Salem Red Sox look to win a second-straight contest with the Wilmington Blue Rocks Sunday afternoon at LewisGale Field. This is the third of 17 meetings between the Blue Rocks and the Red Sox this season. Sunday’s game marks the sixth of 21 consecutive games played for Salem without a single day off.

ON THE MOUND FOR THE SOX:

Salem will send southpaw Dedgar Jimenez to the hill, making his seventh start of the season with the Red Sox. The lefty carries a 1-1 record and a 6.58 earned run average into today’s start, and has had an up-and-down year to this point. He has notched two quality starts (April 17 at Winston-Salem, May 4 vs. Carolina), and hasn’t completed five innings in any of his other four starts this year. The Araure, VZ native spent all of 2015 with Low-A Greenville, where he led the Drive in wins (tied, 9) and losses (9), and ranked second in starts (tied, 23) and innings (126.0).

NOTES:

BEST. TEAM. EVER.: With a 25-10 record through 35 games, the Salem Red Sox are off to their best 34-game start in franchise history. The club is two games ahead of the 23-12 pace of the 2010 team. The best first-half record for Salem came in 1974, when the team finished 47-23. At their current pace, the Sox would finish the half 50-20. No Carolina League team has won more than 45 games in the first half since the 2006 Kinston Indians (47-23). Since the Carolina League went to a split season format in 1970, only the 1980 Peninsula Pilots (PHI) have ever won 50 games in the first half (51-19). Salem has not won a first half championship since 1988. Additionally, Salem currently is tied for the most wins (25) and best winning percentage (.714) in all of Minor League Baseball with the Akron RubberDucks (AA CLE).

WALK-OFF WONDER: Andrew Benintendi’s walk-off single in the 10th inning of Saturday’s 8-7 win over the Wilmington Blue Rocks was the second career walk-off for the Sox’ first-round pick (seventh overall) in 2015. Benintendi notched his first-ever walkoff on September 3, 2015 with a two-run home run to beat the Savannah Sand Gnats (Low-A Mets) 6-5 while playing with the Greenville Drive.

COMEBACK KIDS: After coming from behind to win with eighth inning rallies Tuesday and Wednesday nights, the Red Sox have now come from behind to win 10 games this season after giving up the first run. Five of the 10 comebacks have been from at least three runs down, including the last three rallies. Conversely, Salem is a league-best 15-1 when scoring the game’s first run. Saturday’s 8-7 walk-off win over Wilmington was the first walk-off of the season for the Red Sox.

KEEPING ENEMIES CLOSE: Salem has had a knack for winning close games, with a minor league-best 11-0 record in one-run contests. They are one of two undefeated teams in MiLB in one-run games (Akron, AA CLE, 9-0). The Sox are one of four teams with double-digit one-run wins with Visalia (High-A ARI, 12), Charleston (Low-A NYY, 11), and Montgomery (AA TB, 10) joining the club.

FLASH! AHH!: Salem has been extremely aggressive on the bases this season, stealing 80 bases in 101 attempts (79% success). The Red
Sox currently lead MiLB in stolen bases. Yoan Moncada leads the Carolina League with (24) swipes, and trails Yefri Perez of Jacksonville (25) for the MiLB lead. Jay Gonzalez of Frederick and Greg Allen of Lynchburg are nipping at Moncada’s heels with 20 steals each. After starting the year by successfully stealing 18 of 29 bases (62%), the Sox have been far more efficient, swiping 62 of their past 72 bags (86%).

LEADER OF THE PACK: Yoan Moncada not only leads MiLB players in runs scored (38), but he ranks among the leaders in BB (tied 3rd, 27), SB (second, 24), and OBP (sixth, .458). Moncada is the consensus number one prospect in the Boston organization.

Game Preview: May 14, 2016 vs. Wilmington

GAME INFO:

May 14, 2016 – 6:05 pm

Game 35 of 140

LewisGale Field – Salem, Va.

vs. Wilmington Blue Rocks

PROBABLE PITCHERS:

LHP Jalen Beeks (4-1, 2.90) vs. LHP Matt Tenuta (2-1, 4.65)

SOX LINEUP:

Yoan Moncada           2B

Mauricio Dubon         SS

Andrew Benintendi    CF

Nick Longhi                1B

Rafael Devers             3B

Danny  Mars               RF

Mike Meyers               LF

Jordan Betts              DH

David Sopilka              C

SERIES AT A GLANCE:

The Salem Red Sox look to right the ship tonight against the Wilmington Blue Rocks at LewisGale Field. This is the second of 17 meetings between the Blue Rocks and the Red Sox this season. Friday’s game marks the fifth of 21 consecutive games played for Salem without a single day off. Tonight’s game marks the Sox’ 35th contest of the first half, the official halfway point of the half.

ON THE MOUND FOR THE SOX:

Salem will send southpaw Jalen Beeks to the hill, making his seventh start of the season for Salem. Beeks has a 4-1 record with a 2.90 earned run average this season, the best record and ERA among Red Sox starters. Last time out, the 12th-round pick in 2014 from Arkansas tossed his first quality start of the season, allowing three runs (two earned) in 6.0 innings in a win at the Winston-Salem Dash. Beeks has held left-handed batters to a stingy .227 AVG/.261 OBP/.250 SLG batting line this season.

NOTES:

BEST. TEAM. EVER.: With a 24-10 record through 34 games, the Salem Red Sox are off to their best 34-game start in franchise history. The club is two games ahead of the 22-12 pace of the 2010 team. The best first-half record for Salem came in 1974, when the team finished 47-23. At their current pace, the Sox would finish the half 49-21. No Carolina League team has won more than 45 games in the first half since the 2006 Kinston Indians (47-23). Since the Carolina League went to a split season format in 1970, only the 1980 Peninsula Pilots (PHI) have ever won 50 games in the first half (51-19). Salem has not won a first half championship since 1988. Additionally, Salem currently is tied for the most wins (24) and best winning percentage (.706) in all of Minor League Baseball with the Akron RubberDucks (AA CLE).

COMEBACK KIDS: After coming from behind to win with eighth inning rallies Tuesday and Wednesday nights, the Red Sox have now come from behind to win 10 games this season after giving up the first run. Five of the 10 comebacks have been from at least three runs down, including the last three rallies. Conversely, Salem is a league-best 14-1 when scoring the game’s first run.

SOX PITCHERS ROLL DEEP: Red Sox pitchers have logged at least 6.0 innings in seven of the last nine games, and have notched five quality starts (6.0 IP, 3 ER or less) and a complete game in that span. Trey Ball has thrown two of those quality outings, with only Dedgar Jimenez (4+ IP, on May 10) and Travis Lakins (4.0 IP on May 13) failing to reach the six-inning threshold. Not to be outdone, Salem’s bullpen has a collective 0.77 ERA (2 ER/ 23.1 IP) dating back to the ninth inning last Wednesday.

KEEPING ENEMIES CLOSE: Salem has had a knack for winning close games, with a minor league-best 10-0 record in one-run contests. They are one of two undefeated teams on one-run games (Akron, AA CLE, 8-0). The Sox are one of four teams with double-digit one-run wins with Visalia (High-A ARI, 12) Montgomery (AA TB, 10) and Charleston (Low-A NYY, 11) joining the club.

FLASH! AHH!: Salem has been extremely aggressive on the bases this season, stealing 74 bases in 94 attempts (79% success). The Red Sox are currently second MiLB in stolen bases, trailing only the Hickory Crawdads (Low-A TEX, 79/114). Yoan Moncada leads the Carolina League in steals (21), and trails Yefri Perez of the Jacksonville Suns (25) for the MiLB lead. Jay Gonzalez of Frederick and Greg Allen of Lynchburg are nipping at Moncada’s heels with 20 steals each. After starting the year by successfully stealing 18 of 29 bases (62%), the Sox have been far more efficient, swiping 56 of their past 65 bags (86%).

LEADER OF THE PACK: Yoan Moncada not only leads MiLB players in runs scored (36), but he ranks among the leaders in BB (fourth, 25), SB (second, 21), and OBP (14th, .449).

Game Preview: May 12, 2016 vs. Lynchburg

GAME INFO:

May 12, 2016 – 7:05 pm

Game 33 of 140

LewisGale Field – Salem, Va.

vs. Lynchburg Hillcats

PROBABLE PITCHERS:

LHP Matt Kent (1-2, 5.91 ERA) vs. RHP Mitch Brown (1-2, 5.22 ERA)

SOX LINEUP:

Yoan Moncada           2B

Mauricio Dubon         SS

Andrew Benintendi    CF

Nick Longhi                1B

Rafael Devers             3B

Danny  Mars               RF

Ben Moore                    C

Bryan Hudson             LF

Deiner Lopez             DH

SERIES AT A GLANCE:

The Salem Red Sox look to sweep the three-game series against the Lynchburg Hillcats Thursday evening at LewisGale Field. The matchup is the third of 26 contests between the two geographic rivals, who will play each other 12 times in the next 26 games. The series is part of the longest stretch of the season without an off day for the Red Sox, who will play 21 straight days.

ON THE MOUND FOR THE SOX:

Salem will send left-handed pitcher Matt Kent to the hill, making his fifth start with the Red Sox this season. Kent last tossed 6.0 innings against the Winston-Salem Dash in game one of Saturday’s doubleheader, allowing four runs on nine hits, getting hung with the complete-game loss. The southpaw is 1-2 on the season with a 5.91 ERA for Salem, and boasts a 12:3 SO:BB ratio in 21.1 IP at High-A this year.

NOTES:

COMEBACK KIDS: After coming from behind to win with eighth inning rallies Tuesday and Wednesday nights, the Red Sox have now come from behind to win 10 games this season after giving up the first run. Five of the 10 comebacks have been from at least three runs down, including the last three rallies. Conversely, Salem is a league-best 13-1 when scoring the game’s first run.

SOX PITCHERS ROLL DEEP: Red Sox pitchers have logged at least 6.0 innings in six of the last seven games, and have notched four quality starts (6.0 IP, 3 ER or less) and a complete game in that span. Trey Ball has thrown two of those quality outings, with only Dedgar Jimenez (4+ IP, on May 10) failing to reach the six-inning threshhold. Not to be outdone, Salem’s bullpen is working on a streak of 16.0 consecutive innings without allowing a run.

DOMINATION: The Salem Red Sox season has been characterized by lengthy winning streaks, with already seven-game and eight-game streaks under the team’s belt through just 32 games. Salem’s +51 run differential is the second-best in the Carolina League, trailing only Lynchburg (+58), and is third-best among High-A teams and tied for fifth-best in MiLB. The Sox’ 181 runs scored is tied for fifth-most in MiLB.

KEEPING ENEMIES CLOSE: Salem has had a knack for winning close games, with a minor league-best 10-0 record in one-run contests. They are one of two undefeated teams on one-run games (Akron, AA CLE, 8-0). The Sox are one of three teams with double-digit one-run wins with Visalia (High-A ARI, 11) and Charleston (Low-A NYY, 10) joining the club.

BEST. TEAM. EVER.: With a 23-9 record through 32 games, the Salem Red Sox are off to their best 32-game start in franchise history. The club is two games ahead of the 21-11 pace of the 2010 and 2011 teams. The best first-half start for Salem came in 1974, when the team finished 47-23. At their current pace, the Sox would finish the half 50-20. No team has won more than 45 games in the first half since the 2006 Kinston Indians (47-23). Since the Carolina League went to a split season format in 1970, only the 1980 Peninsula Pilots (PHI) have ever won 50 games in the first half (51-19). Salem has not won a first half championship since 1988.

FLASH! AHH!: Salem has been extremely aggressive on the bases this season, stealing 71 bases in 91 attempts (78% success). The Red Sox are currently second MiLB in stolen bases, trailing only the Hickory Crawdads (Low-A TEX, 75/108). Yoan Moncada leads the Carolina League in steals (19), and trails Yefri Perez of the Jacksonville Suns (23) for the MiLB lead. Greg Allen of Lynchburg and Jay Gonzalez of Frederick are nipping at Moncada’s heels with 18 steals each. After starting the year by successfully stealing 18 of 29 bases (62%), the Sox have been far more efficient, swiping 53 of their past 62 bags (85%).

Game Preview: May 11, 2016 vs. Lynchburg

GAME INFO:

May 11, 2016 – 7:05 pm

Game 32 of 140

LewisGale Field – Salem, Va.

vs. Lynchburg Hillcats

PROBABLE PITCHERS:

 Trey Ball (1-0, 1.80) vs. Justus Sheffield (3-1, 3.64)

SOX LINEUP:

Yoan Moncada           2B

Mauricio Dubon         SS

Andrew Benintendi    CF

Nick Longhi                1B

Rafael Devers             3B

Danny  Mars               RF

Mike Meyers                LF

David Sopilka               C

Deiner Lopez             DH

SERIES AT A GLANCE:

The Salem Red Sox square off against the Lynchburg Hillcats in game two of a three game series Wednesday evening at LewisGale Field. The matchup is the second of 26 contests between the two geographic rivals, who will play each other 14 times in the next 28 games. The series is part of the longest stretch of the season without an off day for the Red Sox, who will play 21 straight days.

ON THE MOUND FOR THE SOX:

Salem will send left-handed pitcher Trey Ball to the bump, making his third start of the season. Ball is coming off 6.0 shutout innings against the Winston-Salem Dash in his last outing, where he allowed only two hits and struck out two. The southpaw is 1-0 on the season with a 1.80 earned run average. The 1st-round pick in 2013 started the season in extended spring training before coming back to Salem, where he spent the entire 2015 season, going 9-13 with a 4.73 ERA.

NOTES:

#BENIFEATS: With an 0-for-3 performance in game one of the doubleheader Saturday, Andrew Benintendi’s hitting streak came to an end at 23 in a row (36-92, .391, 10 2B, 6 3B, HR, 21 R, 24 RBI during streak). The streak is the longest MiLB this season, and is the longest in Salem Sox history (since 2009). It tied for the all-time franchise record set by Art Howe of the 1971 Salem Rebels (Pittsburgh). He leads MiLB in triples (7), is third in XBH (21), third in 2B (13), sixth in hits (tied, 43), seventh in RBIs (29), ninth in OPS (1.048), and 10th in AVG (tied, .368).

DOMINATION: The Salem Red Sox season has been characterized by lengthy winning streaks, with already seven-game and eight-game streaks under the team’s belt through just 31 games. Salem’s +48 run differential is the second-best in the Carolina League, trailing only Lynchburg (+61), and is third-best among all High-A teams and tied for fourth-best in MiLB. The Sox’ 175 runs scored is tied for fifth-most in MiLB.

KEEPING ENEMIES CLOSE: Salem has had a knack for winning close games, with a minor league-best 10-0 record in one-run contests. They are one of two undefeated teams on one-run games (Akron, Double-A CLE, 7-0). The Sox are one of three teams with double-digit one-run wins with Visalia (High-A ARI, 11) and Charleston (Low-A NYY, 10) joining the club.

BEST. TEAM. EVER.: With a 22-9 record through 31 games, the Salem Red Sox are off to their best 31-game start in franchise history. The Red Sox have benefitted from both a seven- and eight-game winning streak thus far. The best first-half start for Salem came in 1974, when the team finished 47-23. At their current pace, the Sox would finish the half 50-20. Salem has not won a first half championship since 1988.

LT. SURGE: Yoan Moncada was named Carolina League Player of the Week for May 2-8, in thanks to his massive power output. The switch-hitter mashed to a .320 AVG( 8-for-35), with 3 2B, 3 HR, 13 R and 9 RBIs. Moncada hit three home runs in a span of 20 at-bats after not hitting a home run in his first 80 at-bats of the campaign. He has raised his slugging percentage from .418 to .510 during the week, and the three long balls are tied for second-most in MiLB last week (Five players with 4 HR). Moncada is slugging .800 in that span.

FLASH! AHH!: Salem has been extremely aggressive on the bases this season, stealing 70 bases in 90 attempts (78% success). The Red Sox are currently second MiLB in stolen bases, trailing only the Hickory Crawdads (Low-A TEX, 75/108). Yoan Moncada is leads the Carolina League in steals (19), and trails Yefri Perez of the Jacksonville Suns (23) for the MiLB lead. After starting the year by successfully stealing 18 of 29 bases (62%), the Sox have been far more efficient, swiping 52 of their past 61 bags (85%).

Game Preview: May 8, 2016 at Winston-Salem

GAME INFO:

May 8, 2016 – 2:00 pm

Game 30 of 140

BB&T Ballpark – Winston-Salem, N.C.

at Winston-Salem Dash

PROBABLE PITCHERS:

 Jalen Beeks (3-1, 2.88) vs. Spencer Adams (3-1, 3.48)

SOX LINEUP:

Yoan Moncada           2B

Mauricio Dubon         SS

Andrew Benintendi    CF

Jordan Betts                1B

Rafael Devers             3B

Danny  Mars               RF

Mike Meyers                LF

David Sopilka               C

Bryan Hudson             DH

SERIES AT A GLANCE:

The Red Sox complete their four-game series and look for the series win Sunday afternoon against the Winston-Salem Dash at BB&T Ballpark. Saturday’s games represent the 10th and 11th of 23 overall meetings between the two clubs this season. Previously, the Red Sox swept a four-game series at Winston-Salem from April 14-17. The Dash took three of four at LewisGale Field from April 21-24.

ON THE MOUND FOR THE SOX:

Salem will send left-handed pitcher Jalen Beeks to the bump, making his sixth start of the season. Beeks is 3-1 with a 2.88 ERA, and is coming off a win in his last start against the Carolina Mudcats on May 3 (G1). Beeks ranks ninth in the Carolina League in earned run average, and is among the Red Sox staff leaders in games started (t-2nd, 5), innings pitched (2nd, 25.0), strikeouts (2nd, 19), ERA (2nd), and wins (2nd). The southpaw was a 12th-round pick in 2014 out of the University of Arkansas, and spend the 2015 season as a member of the Low-A Greenville Drive.

NOTES:

#BENIFEATS: With an 0-for-3 performance in game one of the doubleheader Saturday,, Andrew Benintendi’s hitting streak came to an end at 23 in a row (36-92, .391, 10 2B, 6 3B, HR, 21 R, 24 RBI during streak). The streak is the longest MiLB this season, and is the longest in Salem Sox history (since 2009). It tied for the all-time franchise record set by Art Howe of the 1971 Salem Rebels (Pittsburgh). He leads MiLB in triples (7), is second in XBH (20) and hits (42), third in 2B (12), fourth in RBIs (28), eighth in OPS (1.067), and 10th in AVG (.375).

DOMINATION: The Salem Red Sox season has been characterized by lengthy winning streaks, with already seven-game and eight-game streaks under the team’s belt through just 29 games. Conversely, the Red Sox have not lost more than three games in a row, and have not been swept in a series this season. Salem’s +42 run differential (163 scored vs. 121 allowed) is the second-best in the Carolina League, trailing only Lynchburg (+50), and is third-best among all High-A teams and fifth-best in MiLB. The Sox’ 163 runs scored is fourth-most in MiLB.

ROAD, SWEET ROAD: After splitting the twinbill with the Dash last night, the Red Sox are now 13-2 on the road to start the 2016 season, by far the franchise’s best 15-game road start ever. No other year has Salem had fewer than four losses through their first 15 road games of the season. The Sox have won six of their last seven road contests, and sported a seven-game road winning streak to start the season. BB&T Ballpark has been especially friendly to Salem, as the sox have posted a 6-1 record at the home of the Dash.

POWER SURGE: Yoan Moncada homered in game two of Saturday’s doubleheader with the Dash to give him three home runs in his last 20 at-bats after not hitting a home run in his first 80 at-bats of the campaign. Moncada has added three doubles and nine runs batted in during that span to be one of the most productive batters in MiLB. He has raised his slugging percentage from .418 to .530, and the three long balls are tied for second-most in MiLB since May 3rd (Paul DeJong, Springfield (Double-A STL), 4). Moncada is slugging .952 in that span.

THIEVERY: Salem has been extremely aggressive on the bases this season, stealing 66 bases in 86 attempts (77% success). The Red Sox are currently second in all of MiLB in steals, trailing only the Hickory Crawdads (Rangers Low-A, 69/100). With a steal in Wednesday’s matchup with Carolina, Yoan Moncada is leads the Carolina League in steals (19), and trails Yefri Perez of the Jacksonville Suns (23) for the MiLB lead. After starting the year by successfully stealing 18 of 29 bases (62%), the Sox have been far more efficient, swiping 48 of their past 57 bags (84%).

Game Preview: May 7, 2016 Doubleheader at Winston-Salem

GAME INFO:

May 7, 2016 – 5:30 pm

Games 28 and 29 of 140

BB&T Ballpark – Winston-Salem, N.C.

at Winston-Salem Dash

PROBABLE PITCHERS:

 G1: Matt Kent (1-1, 5.87) vs. Thad Lowry (0-2, 3.96)

G2: Travis Lakins (3-1, 2.13) vs. Jordan Stephens (0-3, 3.86)

LINEUP (G1):

Yoan Moncada          2B

Mauricio Dubon       SS

Andrew Benintendi  CF

Nick Longhi               DH

Danny Mars               RF

Rafael Devers             3B

Jordan Betts               1B

Ben Moore                   C

Bryan Hudson            LF

SERIES AT A GLANCE:

The Red Sox will play two Saturday night against Winston-Salem Dash at BB&T Ballpark. Saturday’s games represent the 10th and 11th of 23 overall meetings between the two clubs this season. Previously, the Red Sox swept a four-game series at Winston-Salem from April 14-17. The Dash took three of four at LewisGale Field from April 21-24.

ON THE MOUND FOR THE SOX:

Salem will send left-handed pitcher Matt Kent to the bump in game one, making his fourth start of the season. Kent is 1-1 with a 5.84 ERA since being called up from Low-A Greenville. He has allowed 27 hits in 15.1 innings with Salem, and has walked three and struck out eight. Kent was the Red Sox 13th-round draft pick in the June 2015 Draft out of Texas A&M.

ON THE MOUND IN GAME TWO:

Game two will see Travis Lakins toe the rubber for Salem, looking to continue his strong start to the season. Lakins is 3-1 with a 2.13 ERA, and he is among the Carolina League leaders in Wins (2nd), ERA (5th), and SO/9 IP among starters (9.59, 5th). Lakins faces the Dash for the third time this season, and has allowed one earned run on three hits and struck out 13 in 10.2 innings thus far.

NOTES:

#BENIFEATS: With a first inning single Friday night, Andrew Benintendi extended his hitting streak to 23 in a row (36-92, .391, 10 2B, 6 3B, HR, 21 R, 24 RBI). The streak is the longest active in MiLB and is the longest in Salem Sox history (since 2009). It is tied for the all-time franchise record set by Art Howe of the 1971 Salem Rebels (Pittsburgh). Benintendi’s first hit during the streak has come in his: 1st at-bat (7x), 2nd (8), 3rd (5), 4th (2), 5th (1). He leads MiLB in triples (7), is second in XBH (19), third in OPS (1.089) fourth in 2B (11) and hits (tied, 40), and fifth in RBIs (27) and AVG (.381).

WE’RE GOING STREAKING!: The Red Sox are riding an eight-game winning streak, and have been thoroughly dominant in their wins. During the streak, the Sox have outscored their opponents 69-28, and are hitting .309 (83-for-269) as a team. Four individuals are hitting over .400 during the streak – Andrew Benintendi (.469, 15-32); Mauricio Dubon (.484, 16-33); and Deiner Lopez (.600, 6-10). The Sox have hit for power as well, combining for 16 2B, 5 3B and 4 HR during the streak. The eight-game winning streak is tied for the longest in Salem Sox history with a stretch from August 7-17, 2014. The Salem franchise has not won nine straight since a 12-game winning streak from May 22-June 1, 2007. Salem’s 19-8 record through 27 games is the third-best record in that span, behind the 2010 and 2011 squads.

ROAD, SWEET ROAD: With a 9-0 win at the Dash last night, the Red Sox are now 12-1 on the road to start the 2016 season. The Sox have won their last five straight on the road, with their last loss coming on April 26th at Frederick (4-1). The record for road wins in a season in Salem Sox history is 35 in 2015. The 12-1 start is the best 12-game road start in franchise history.

THIEVERY: Salem has been extremely aggressive on the bases this season, stealing 64 bases in 84 attempts (76% success). The Red Sox are currently second in all of MiLB in steals, trailing only the Hickory Crawdads (Rangers Low-A, 67/96). With a steal in Wednesday’s matchup with Carolina, Yoan Moncada is leads the Carolina League in steals (19), and trails Yefri Perez of the Jacksonville Suns (22) for the MiLB lead. After starting the year by successfully stealing 18 of 29 bases (62%), the Sox have been far more efficient, swiping 46 of their past 55 bags (84%).

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 15,787 other followers