Friday June 29, 2012 | 01:23 AM

At first, Franklin Morales was going to make a spot start or two. Now he’s making it difficult - if not impossible - for the Red Sox to take him out of the rotation.

In Thursday night’s 1-0 walk-off loss to the Mariners, Morales did not factor in the decision, pitching seven shutout innings - 3 H, 2 BB, 7 K.

Morales’ ERA is now 2.00, with 24 strikeouts in 18 innings.

In Pawtucket, reliever Junichi Tazawa keeps waiting for his chance to get back to the majors. He pitched two perfect innings Thursday (4 K’s).

In Portland, the Dogs won 4-3. Right-handed starter Anthony Ranaudo rebounded from two bad starts to go five innings (6 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 3 K).

Jackie Bradley Jr. (.382) went 2-for-4, with an RBI double. He also made a nice running-in basket catch on a bloop to shallow center field. See the game story.

Salem was involved in a slugfest, beating Potomac 16-14. Strange that it came in Matt Barnes’ start. He had his first clunker (1 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 0 K) … Shannon Wilkerson, Heiker Meneses, Xander Bogaerts, Brandon Jacobs and Michael Almanzar also hit home runs. It was the 12th for Bogaerts.

First-round draft pick Deven Marrero may not stay in Lowell long. He went 3-for-5 Thursday and is batting .429 in five games.


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.

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