Let's take a look at what the Red Sox farm teams have in store for the upcoming week.
Pawtucket (40-23, IL North 1st place) - The PawSox story of the week will continue to be the progress of Daniel Bard, who will start at home against the Gwinnett Braves on Monday night. After his scheduled one inning on Friday night (1IP, 3H, 3ER, 2K, 2 HBP), Bard is expected to bump up to two or three innings in this next outing as the brass tries to ultimately determine his fate. After the Braves shuffle out of town, the PawSox will enjoy their first scheduled off day since May 23rd on Wednesday, before making the eight hour bus ride to Buffalo for a four-game set against the Bisons (Mets).
Portland (27-35, EL Eastern 5th place) – The Sea Dogs leave the friendly confines of Hadlock Field behind and hit the road for three game series at the Bowie Baysox (Orioles) and Richmond Flying Squirrels (Giants). Portland took two of three games against both teams last week at home, outscoring their opponents 21-8 in those victories. Drake Britton pitched 10 1/3 innings of scoreless ball in his first two AA starts last week and is lined up to throw against the Flying Squirrels on Saturday. This past Sunday, Britton - ranked as the Red Sox 18th best prospect according to SoxProspects.com – allowed three hits and two walks against Richmond, striking out five in the process.
Salem (35-27, CL Southern 2nd place) – The Single-A Sox have a full slate of games on tap for the week ahead, with three in Wilmington (Royals) and four back LewisGale Field against Carolina (Indians) before the All-Star break. Outfielder Shannon Wilkerson returns to Salem after his second tour of duty with the Sea Dogs. The speedy outfielder is 16-for-16 on stolen base attempts with the Salem Sox and went 2-for-2 while with Portland. In his pro career, Wilkerson has only been thrown out ten times in fifty-nine attempts. The always-anticipated Matt Barnes (4-1, 1.32 ERA) start should happen at Wilmington on Wednesday and will be his last start before he inevitably pitches next Tuesday in the California League/Carolina League All-Star Game.
Greenville (31-31, SAL Southern 5th place) – The Drive start the week back at Fluor Field with three games against the first place Asheville Tourists (Rockies) before heading to Augusta for five games against the GreenJackets (Giants), which includes a double header on Thursday. Sally League All-Star Keury De La Cruz brings an eleven game hit streak into the week. During that span the outfielder is batting .419 with 8 RBIs and 11 runs. Third baseman Garin Ceccini and starting pitcher Miguel Pena will join Cruz in Charleston on June 19th to represent the Southern Division in the All-Star game. The host Charleston River Dogs (Yankees) will stage the first round of the Sally League’s home run derby on the deck of the USS Yorktown, a retired warship anchored in Charleston harbor.
Lowell (0-0, NYPL) – The Spinners season will kick-off a week from Monday when they host the Connecticut Tigers at LaLacheur Park. Once the roster is rounded out we will preview their upcoming season.
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