While we continue to hype the exploits of Mookie Betts, other Boston Red Sox prospects are making their mark.

Take notice of unbeaten starter Keith Couch (4-0), who had a perfect game for 52/3 innings Tuesday night in the Portland Sea Dogs’ 10-2 win over the Reading Fightin Phils at Hadlock Field.

Travis Shaw is garnering attention lately. He homered and singled Tuesday night.

Shortstop Deven Marrero went 2 for 4 and is batting .306.

Then there was Betts, the 21-year-old second baseman who is in his first season in Double-A baseball. Betts went 3 for 4, with a three-run homer over the left-field wall in the fourth inning.

Betts has a 16-game hitting streak and an on-base streak of 51 games, dating to last year.

Betts is also batting .422 with four home runs and a .471 on-base percentage through 21 games.

“Same approach each and every day,” Betts said.

Portland Manager Billy McMillon said Betts “is in a good place right now. Swinging the bat real well and he’s really confident. It’s fun to watch.”

Betts’ and Shaw’s blasts, along with a Stefan Welch homer were among the big hits.

Blake Swihart and Henry Ramos also tripled in the seven-run fourth inning.

The runs were plenty for Couch. He located his 90 mph fastball on the corners and mixed in sliders and change-ups. No Reading player reached until Edgar Duran’s ground-ball single to center field with two outs in the sixth.

Couch said he didn’t realize that was the first hit.

“Then I got applause and I looked back (at the scoreboard) and I knew why,” Couch said.

“It was fun out there. I knew I had good stuff and I was coming right at them.”

Couch allowed four hits and hit a batter in the seventh. He recovered for two strikeouts before leaving.

His line: five hits, two runs, zero walks, seven strikeouts. His ERA dropped to 2.48, and he has 25 strikeouts in 29 innings.

“That was Keith Couch at his best,” McMillon said.

Shaw is coming on after a slow start (.114). In his last 10 games, Shaw is batting .395 with four home runs.

NOTES: Reliever Kyle Kraus returned to advanced Class A Salem, making room for the return of reliever Nate Reed … Heiker Meneses missed only one game with an injured wrist and was back Tuesday, at third base …

After batting practice the Sea Dogs gathered back in their clubhouse. Duncan Webb, assistant director of player development for the Red Sox, presented Carolina League championship rings to members of last year’s Salem Red Sox team …

Betts was caught stealing and is 10 of 12 … Reliever Noe Ramirez struck out 3 of 4 batters … The announced paid attendance was 3,376 …

A couple former Sea Dogs helped Triple-A Pawtucket to an 8-0 win over Lehigh Valley in a five-inning rain-shortened game. Bryce Brentz hit a grand slam, and Anthony Ranaudo allowed only two hits and two walks, striking out seven … Before Wednesday’s game, the Sea Dogs will hold a college fair at Hadlock, from 3-5 p.m. Complimentary tickets are available for students.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: ClearTheBases


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