Brentz adjusting to Triple-A ball after promotion

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Brentz adjusting to Triple-A ball after promotion

PAWTUCKET, R.I. The last week of August was a significant time for outfielder Bryce Brentz. At the beginning of the week he was named the Eastern League player of the week for the previous period. The Red Sox then announced that he would be among the organizations contingent to play in the Arizona Fall League. And he capped the week with a promotion to Triple-A Pawtucket, the first position player from the Sox 2010 draft class to make it to Triple-A.

Hes had a very good season, said Red Sox director of player development Ben Crockett. Hes had some ups and downs, but hes shown the ability to make adjustments in trying to see what the league or what certain pitching staffs are doing to him, and make the adjustments from there and come back fighting. I think getting his feet wet in Triple-A should be a good experience for him for the last few games of the regular season and for however much exposure he gets in the playoffs. Obviously itll be great for him.

Its been a learning experience, really, Brentz said of this season. Each level provided a new bit of knowledge I got to learn. In Triple A Ive been pressing a little bit, trying to do a little too much maybe at the plate. But Im still seeing some different things I didnt see in Double-A. So its been good.

Brentz response to his promotion is not uncommon for young players. He went hitless in his first four games until Monday, Pawtuckets final regular season game, when he went 2-for-5. After hitting .296 with 17 home runs, 76 RBI, a .355 on-base percentage, and .478 slugging percentage in 122 games with Double-A Portland, he hit just .118.167.118 in five regular season games for Pawtucket. But in Wednesdays Game 1 of the Governors Cup best-of-five semifinal series against the ScrantonWilkes-Barre Yankees, Brentz hit his first Triple-A home run, a two-run shot in the eighth inning of the 7-4 win.

Bryce is a really good hitter," Crockett said. Just sometimes takes a little bit of time. He hasnt been up there very long. So I think any kind of ebb and flow in performance is common for hitters, and I think this is part of that. So hopefully hell continue on a little bit of a hot streak through the playoffs.

For Brentz , its all part of the process.

The biggest thing for me has been strike zone management, he said. I still try to do too much and then I dont command the strike zone, and thats just part of being human I think and trying to do more than what you need to be doing. But its also taught me some discipline, what I can do, what I cant. Being consistent.

Brentz, the Sox first-round pick (second by the Sox, 36th overall) in 2010 out of Middle Tennessee State is not the first highly prized prospect to struggle in his first brief taste of Triple-A. Last season, it was Will Middlebrooks who hit just .161 in 16 games for the PawSox before winning the starting third base job with the big league team this season.

PawSox manager Arnie Beyeler figures its just a matter of time before Brentz breaks out.

Its funny, the first game I thought this is going to be like Middlebrooks last year, Beyeler said. Hes a free-swinging kid with a ton of power. And hes had a big year. Hes been on base a lot. Hes probably a little wore out, a little tired. Going to another level theres high expectations. Guys are going to find his holes. Theyre going to exploit him a little bit. You got the veteran guys up here that all hes going to see slider, slider, changeup, slider, show him a fastball, back to the garbage, and hes going to have to make that adjustment. Its not going to come real quick, but hell be OK.

Will Middlebrooks went through that up here last year. Im kind of seeing the same kind of deal here, and it doesnt mean hes not going to perform up here. ..But its going to take some time for him to adjust. But, hell get it going. Thats back to what we talk about -- thats player development. Thats why theyre up here.

Bryce is a confident kid, and the adversity factor is good for these guys. Id rather have him do what hes doing here than do it when he goes up to the big leagues. So itll be a good development experience for him and hell get through it. But hes got a lot of ability. Hes going to be a fun kid.

Beyeler went through similar adjustments with another player another Bryce -- last season when he managed in in the Arizona Fall League.

It was that way with Harper, He said. It took Harper like a week to get a hit out in the
fall league. I just sat there and kept saying I just want to see him run into one of those from batting practice in a game one time. And he finally hit one and it just was really cool to watch. It was hard and it went a long ways. Thats kind of the way I look at Bryce Brentz swinging. Hes going to run into one one of these days and its going to go a long ways.

Brentz, who turns 24 in December, will head out to the fall league in October. With almost six additional weeks of games, it can make for a long season. But, hes looking forward to it.

Oh, yeah, I really am, he said. Its a big experience, a good experience, and just hoping to make the most of it.

And its one step more in the process, one step closer to where he wants to be playing the outfield in Boston.

Im hoping for some time next year. Thatd be really good. Thatd be really awesome, he said. But Im not going to try and play GM. I just take care of what I can take care of and all I can control. They have their own plans and hopefully I can fit in them.

Segura's single in 13th rallies Mariners past Red Sox, 6-5

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Segura's single in 13th rallies Mariners past Red Sox, 6-5

SEATTLE - Jean Segura rolled an RBI single up the middle with two outs in the 13th inning to cap a two-run rally and give the Seattle Mariners a 6-5 victory over the Boston Red Sox in a game that ended early Wednesday morning.

Mitch Haniger walked with one out in the 13th off Doug Fister (0-5), pitching his third inning, and was forced at second on Ben Gamel's fielder's choice. Guillermo Heredia, who had a three-run homer in the second, singled Gamel to third. Gamel scored on a wild pitch to tie it, with Heredia advancing all the way to third. Mike Zunino then walked. Shortstop Xander Bogaerts fielded Segura's roller behind second, but his off-balance throw was way late.

The Red Sox, who stranded two runners in the eighth, ninth and 11th innings, had taken a 5-4 lead in the top half when Sandy Leon singled home Hanley Ramirez with two outs off Tony Zych (5-2).

Mike Zunino opened the seventh inning with his 15th home run to bring Seattle even at 4-4.

Red Sox acquire third baseman Eduardo Nunez from Giants

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Red Sox acquire third baseman Eduardo Nunez from Giants

BOSTON — On the day Rafael Devers made his major league debut, the Red Sox added another piece to help them at the hot corner — and potentially elsewhere.

The Sox and the San Francisco Giants struck a deal that sends third baseman and utility man Eduardo Nunez to the Red Sox in exchange for minor league righties Shaun Anderson and Gregory Santos.

Nunez, a 30-year-old from the Dominican Republic, could prove a versatile bench piece, particularly as Xander Bogaerts and Brock Holt both struggle. The former is dealing with a hand injury. Dustin Pedroia, red hot, also needs to be spelled occasionally because of his left leg, so Nunez could help out in a variety of ways.

But perhaps the bulk of Nunez’s time with the Sox is to be spent at third base, where he fits as a right-handed complement to the left-handed hitting Devers in a platoon.

Nunez is slashing .299/.326/.414 this season against southpaws, with a  .263/.294/.412 line against them lifetime.

Nunez this year is batting .307 overall, which would be a career-high for him in a single season. But he doesn’t have much pop, with just four home runs this year and double-digits just once in his career (16 last year).

Defensively, Nunez has played shortstop and third base more than any other position in an eight-year career that brought him from the Yankees (four years), Twins (three years) and the Giants (two years) before the Sox. This year, Nunez has played more games at third than any other position, 48, but the seven errors he’s made isn’t an encouraging total.

Nunez isn't a pricey acquisiton in terms of the luxury tax threshold and salary. He's a free agent after the season and owed the prorated amount of his 2017 salary, roughly $1.5 million.

Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez tweeted an endorsement of Nunez, writing “Eduardo Nuñez plays amazing defense in whatever position he is placed. Red Sox are getting a great guy and player.”

The Red Sox and Mariners were in the middle of a night game in Seattle a little after midnight (on the East Coast) on Wednesday morning when Nunez was seen shaking hands with his Giants teammates. 

There’s a small irony at play here. The Giants, of course, recently re-acquired Pablo Sandoval on a minor league deal, with the Sox still paying Sandoval a ton of money. The Giants’ production at third base has actually been worse than the Red Sox’ this season.