Red Sox

Top Red Sox prospect Darwinzon Hernandez suffers loss in second start

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Top Red Sox prospect Darwinzon Hernandez suffers loss in second start

Darwinzon Hernandez's second act wasn't as impressive as his first.

The prized left-hander and top Red Sox pitching prospect made his second start of the season at Double A on Tuesday night in Reading against the Fightin' Phils and took his first loss.

Hernandez went five innings, allowing six hits and three runs (2 earned), walking three and striking out five. He threw 90 pitches, but only 52 strikes, suggesting that his control remains a work in progress. Hernandez has walked seven batters in 10 innings this season.

Tuesday's performance marked a step down from his debut vs. that same Reading club on April 7, when he limited the visitors to two hits over five shutout innings while striking out 10.

Extra base hits were also an issue, with Hernandez surrendering three doubles, including two by Adam Haseley.

The 22-year-old was making only his second Double A start, however, so there will be a learning curve. The 6-foot-2, 245-pounder opened eyes during the Arizona Fall League by striking out 24 in only 11.1 innings, and he then built on that performance with a solid spring training that had manager Alex Cora noting he could eventually help the big league club this season.

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Red Sox designate Eduardo Nunez for assignment

Red Sox designate Eduardo Nunez for assignment

After Sunday night's extra innings loss to the National League-leading Dodgers, the Red Sox are making moves. 

Most notably, the Red Sox announced that they are designating Eduardo Nunez for assignment. This means Boston is removing Nunez from the 40-man roster, and he can either be traded or placed on irrevocable outright waivers within seven days. 

Nunez, a hero of 2018's World Series run, has struggled this season to say the least. The 32-year-old is hitting .228 with a .243 on-base percentage, both career-lows. In the Red Sox second-baseman depth chart, he's behind Michael Chavis, Brock Holt and Marco Hernandez. 

Nunez is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, and he likely wouldn't bring back much in a trade as a veteran rental.  

The Red Sox also sent Hector Velázquez, who pitched in all three of Boston's post-All-Star Break games, to Triple-A Pawtucket. Velázquez (5.67 ERA) allowed three earned runs in extra innings against the Dodgers on Sunday night. 

To replace Velázquez and Nunez, the Sox called up Ryan Weber and Sam Travis to help the bullpen and first basemen depth, respectively. 

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Red Sox star Xander Bogaerts and Mike Trout are only MLB players with these stats

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USA TODAY Sports

Red Sox star Xander Bogaerts and Mike Trout are only MLB players with these stats

Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts is having the best season of his career, and his performance against the Los Angeles Dodgers over the weekend was fantastic.

The 26-year-old shortstop batted 6-for-12 with six RBI and a home run in each of the three games at Fenway Park.

Bogaerts is hitting .301 with 20 homers and 71 RBI through 89 games this season, and he should be in the American League MVP discussion. He's even entered Mike Trout territory in some statistical categories, and that's when you really know you're enjoying a special season. 

Take a look at these stats:

Trout is considered by many people as baseball's best player, and the Los Angeles Angels outfielder has finished first or second in AL MVP voting in six of his seven full MLB seasons (including two wins). Bogaerts has been nearly as valuable to the Red Sox as Trout has been to the Angels this year.

One of the most impressive aspects of Bogaerts' season has been his consistency. He's collected a hit in 22 of his last 26 games, including an active streak of six games. He's also been more disciplined at the plate, tallying 51 walks, just seven behind his career high. Bogaerts also is on pace to set career highs in home runs, batting average, runs, hits, on-base percentage and more.

The Red Sox have disappointed for much of the season and find themselves in a difficult race to secure one of the two AL wild-card playoff spots. One encouraging result of this season, at least so far, has been the play of Bogaerts. Hopefully for the Sox, it's a sign of things to come for the star shortstop with his contract extension kicking in next year.

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