Bogaerts at SS for PawSox; hits 9th homer

PAWTUCKET, R.I. -- After playing his eighth game at third base for the Pawtucket Red Sox on Tuesday night, Xander Bogaerts was back at shortstop Wednesday afternoon at McCoy Stadium.

He went 2-for-4 with a three-run homer to help the PawSox to a 6-5 win over the Louisville Bats. It was his ninth homer for the PawSox since his promotion to Pawtucket on June 14, and he extended his current hitting streak to eight games.

In his first at-bat, Bogaerts flied out to right field but put a good swing on the ball with the wind blowing in. He provided the homer in his second at-bat, when sent the ball over the left-center field wall.

“His first at-bat the ball was crushed and it didn’t go anywhere,” said PawSox manager Gary DiSarcina. “His next at-bat I had a great view and when it got over the [infield] dirt it had a different gear and that’s big-league pop. It’s raw power and that’s what everybody is excited for with Xander. The ability to hit a ball that far, if there wasn’t any wind it would have gone off that scoreboard because that ball was, I don’t think you can hit a ball better than that. It was like shot out of a gun.”

On Tuesday, Bogaerts went 3-for-4, but two of his hits were broken-bat singles.

“[Tuesday] I got the two bloopers and when I went home I didn’t feel that good because of the process,” Bogaerts said. “Result-wise it was good with three hits, but I really wanted a line drive and I got one today. I really felt good after the first one today, so I knew something was good. I just wanted to barrel up one and make me feel better and I did.”

During his next at-bat in the sixth inning, he showed bunt but pulled it back.

“I was going to bunt, but then I said, ‘Nah, forget about it.’ I was going to bunt the whole way.”

Instead, he provided a two-strike single to right-center field.

“It was just as good as the homer, in my mind,” DiSarcina said. “He’s up there, fighting, battling, surviving and performing. We’re lucky to have him -- no doubt.”

DiSarcina said the decision to bunt was Bogaerts’ idea.

“If he does get called up, he knows he’s not going to be hitting 2, 3, 4 or 5 in that lineup. He’ll be hitting down in the order and he’ll have to bunt,” DiSarcina said. “We’ve talked to him and he comes out early and works on the bunting... I’d rather see him hit a three-run home run than bunt, but that’s part of his development.”

Other news and notes from Pawtucket:

* Red Sox catcher David Ross continued his minor league rehab assignment and went 0-for-2 with a walk and played seven innings behind the plate.

“He was a little sluggish at the beginning just because it’s a noon game after a night game, but he felt good as the game went on,” DiSarcina said.

Ross will have Thursday night off and then catch a full nine innings in consecutive days on Friday and Saturday before a decision is made on whether he'll be activated.

* Right-handed pitcher Jose De La Torre has pitched well for the PawSox all season, but struggled Wednesday. He entered the game with a 3-1 record, three holds, one save and a 1.55 ERA. He had allowed only one run in his last 12 games (17 1/3 innings). He relieved PawSox starter Clayton Mortensen in the top of the seventh and faced only five batters, allowing four runs on five hits before he was lifted.

"He looked tired to me,” DiSarcina said. “The ball wasn’t coming out of his hand. As soon as he let it go it was either a ball or it was something right down the middle. To me, he just looked a little tired. He’s had a long year. He’s had a great year. His numbers are off the charts and he’s been great for us all year. He was a little wobbly his last outing, but this outing it just wasn’t coming out. He just didn’t have it for whatever reason. That is, without a doubt, an aberration for him.”

* Red Sox pitching prospect Anthony Ranaudo will make his McCoy Stadium debut Thursday night against Louisville. The 23-year-old right-hander made his PawSox debut on Aug. 4 at Buffalo, working six scoreless innings and allowing only four hits with no walks and five strikeouts. Currently, he’s 1-1 with a 3.27 ERA for Pawtucket since being promoted from Double-A Portland earlier this month.