Tuesday May 17, 2011 | 06:17 AM

Former Sea Dogs first baseman Anthony Rizzo is tearing up Triple-A. He went 2-for-4 Monday with 2 home runs and 5 RBI. His numbers through 36 games: .376, 12 HR, 50 RBI.

The Red Sox, who traded Rizzo in the off-season, are not missing him.

If Adrian Gonzalez (another former Sea Dogs first baseman, pictured left in 2002) had a start similar to Carl Crawford, Red Sox fans would be groaning about giving up Rizzo (and Casey Kelly and Reymond Fuentes) in the Gonzalez trade.

But, after Gonzalez's walk-off, two-run double, he is batting .327 with 9 RBI ans 37 RBI in 41 games.

One sure thing about Gonzalez: He thinks. In stories from the Boston-area media after the game, Gonzalez talked about Orioles closer Kevin Gregg: "He likes to get ahead on the outer half. I was looking for a fastball middle away. He ended up throwing one of those get-me-over sliders and I put a good swing on it."

This reminds me of something Gonzalez's former teammate in Portland, Anthony Iapoce, told me in spring training: "He was ahead of the game mentally, always figuring out what the pitcher was trying to do." See The Story.

Boston (21-20) is now in a tie with the Yankees (20-19) and Blue Jays (21-20), 3 games behind Tampa Bay.

The struggling Yankees turn to Ivan Nova (3-3, 4.70) to stop the skid, facing the Rays' James Shield (4-1, 2.08) ... The Red Sox, with John Lackey moved to the disabled list, bring out Tim Wakefield (5.40) against Orioles lefty Zach Briton (2.42).

The Sea Dogs are back in Portland tonight for a 6 p.m. game., weather pending.

Former Sea Dogs catcher Mark Wagner has been in limbo since being taken off the 40-man roster in March. He's been in extended spring training in Fort Myers until Monday when he served as the designated hitter for Class A Salem (2-2, HR, two walks).

Anthony Ranaudo pitched for Greenville. No hits for 3 innings, then a 2-run homer in the fourth and solo shot in the fifth - both with two outs. His line: 5 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 2 BB, 4 K.

 

 

About this Blog

Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.

Follow his thoughts on the Boston Red Sox and Portland Sea Dogs on Clearing the Bases

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