The PawSox starting lineup on Monday night is likely to include Aaron Bates.
The 25-year-old slugger got the news he was being promoted from Double-A Portland to Pawtucket following the Sea Dogs’ 10-3 win on Sunday over Trenton.
Here’s what I’ve put together on Bates for the PawSox game notes:
? Promoted from Double-A Portland today (6/8). At the time of his promotion, Bates led the Eastern League in hits (70) and runs (41), and ranked 4th in batting average (.340).
? In 52 games with Portland this year, batted .340 (70-for-206) with 7 HR and 39 RBI (.405 OBP, .505 SLG).
? Named the Eastern League’s Player of the Month for May when he batted .370 with 6 HR and 28 RBI in 28 games.
? Spent all of 2008 with Double-A Portland, batting .276 with 11 HR and 68 RBI.
? Led all Red Sox farm hands with 28 HR in 2007 (24 with Single-A Lancaster, 4 with Double-A Portland).
? Became the first player in the history of the California League to hit 4 HR in a game on May
? Attended North Carolina State University. Was a Cape League All-Star with the Brewer White Caps in 2005.
Bates was the subject of the Boston Globe’s minor league notebook last Friday and should provide a boost to the PawSox offensive attack.
No word yet on what will be done to make room for Aaron on the PawSox active roster.
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The PawSox bullpen has been phenomenal this year, so Sunday’s 5-4 loss to Durham was a shocker as the Bulls scored 4 times in the 9th to turn a 3-run deficit into a 1-run win.
Pawtucket had been 27-0 when leading after 8 innings before Sunday’s loss. For the season, the PawSox “pen pals” have a 2.78 ERA (50 ER in 194.1 IP) and have converted 21 of 25 save opportunities.
The good news is that starter Michael Bowden returned to form, allowing 1 run in 6 IP to lower his ERA to 2.47.
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Speaking of the PawSox bullpen, Sunday’s 5th inning “Fantastic Fun Fact” involved relief pitcher Rocky Cherry who is the answer to a great trivia question: “Who was the last visiting pitcher to take the mound at the old Yankee Stadium?”
Rocky got the final 5 outs for the Orioles in that game, and let the record show that the last Yankee to hit in the old stadium was Derek Jeter.
“That was pretty awesome because he’s the all-time hits leader at Yankee Stadium and when he walked up the crowd was going nuts,” Rocky told me. “He was 0-for-4 going into that at-bat and I threw the first pitch right down the middle. I wanted to give him the opportunity to do something – I don’t know why, but I felt compelled to. On the next pitch I threw a breaking ball for a strike and he tried to absolutely hit it out of the stadium. When he swung so hard he missed it and grounded out to third – he was pretty upset. Then I saw this year at the new Yankee Stadium that Derek Jeter got the first at-bat for New York so it was kind of cool how everything works out.”
Rocky gave his jersey to Major League Baseball officials, but still his hat, cleats, glove, and the ball he used to retire Jeter (grass stain and all).
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Monday night is Cox Legends Night at McCoy as former Red Sox pitchers Bill Monbouquette and Brian Rose will be signing autographs from 7:00 to 8:30 in the Cox Fan Center.
If you can’t make it out to the ballpark, I’ll join Bob Montgomery for TV coverage on Cox Sports throughout Rhode Island. Enrique Gonzalez throws the first pitch at 7:05.
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