When Washington Nationals prospect Michael Taylor reached first base, in the first inning of the Eastern League All-Star Game Wednesday, Sea Dogs catcher Blake Swihart was ready. Taylor has 27 stolen bases this season, but Swihart did not give him a chance in the first inning, picking him off with that touted arm of his.
Yeah, we've mentioned Swihart a time or two before. See Wednesday's column.
Taylor did get his stolen base off Swihart later. Swihart went 0-for-2 in the game. Second baseman Sean Coyle was 1-for-3 with a stolen base. Derrik Gibson pounded out a home run and triple. Reliever Robby Scott pitched a scoreless inning (one hit, two strikeouts).
The Sea Dogs begin play again with a 7 p.m. game tonight in New Hampshire. Luis Diaz (3-2, 2.48) is on the mound. The Sea Dogs' scheduled starter for Saturday night is Henry Owens (12-3, 2.21), so his eventual move to Triple-A seems off, for now.
Too bad that the Sea Dogs won't be hosting Bowie again this season. It would have been nice to see Mike Yastrzemski (grandson of Yaz), who the Orioles just promoted to Double-A. Portland does play at Bowie in August.
In Triple-A, Pawtucket's leading starting pitcher in ERA (2.04) is on the mound. Can you guess who? (Not Ranaudo, Webster, Barnes, De La Rosa, Workman or Hernandez). Steven Wright (4-1) has been sensational in his eight starts since coming off the DL. And for knuckleball pitcher, he is showing command (48 K's/ 12 BB's).
The Red Sox acquired a left-hander pitcher (Ryan Verdugo) from the Royals for cash. He appears headed to Pawtucket. He was 5-2, 4.24 in Triple-A for the Royals.
Salem beat Orioles pitching prospect Dylan Bundy 8-5 on Wednesday. Bundy, who reached the majors in 2012 and then underwent Tommy John surgery, is on the comeback path. He gave up six runs on six hits in four innings.
Salem right-hander Justin Haley (7-3, 2.77) went 5 1/3 innings (3 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 6 K). Looking for the next candidate for a promotion to Portland? It could be Haley, 23, a sixth-round draft pick in 2012, out of Fresno State.
First baseman Sam Travis, Boston's second-round draft pick out of Indiana last month, is batting .283 for Lowell. He hit his third home run Wednesday.