Chris Owings has done much in a baseball career that began in 2009. On Thursday, he added to his list of accomplishments.The Red Sox farmhand homered for the fifth straight game to lead Triple-A Pawtucket past Durham, 3-1, at Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Owings' blast turned a 1-0 deficit into
Chris Owings has done much in a baseball career that began in 2009. On Thursday, he added to his list of accomplishments.
The Red Sox farmhand homered for the fifth straight game to lead Triple-A Pawtucket past Durham, 3-1, at Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Owings' blast turned a 1-0 deficit into a 3-1 lead and extended his hitting streak to eight games.
The South Carolina native kicked off his homer barrage with a two-run long ball against Charlotte on Saturday. He cleared the fences in each of his next three games heading into Thursday's matchup with Rays No. 2 prospectBrendan McKay.
Owings was hitless heading into his fourth at-bat in the seventh inning, when he came up with two on and two out. The 5-foot-10, 185-pounder turned around a full-count offering from No. 21 Rays prospect Anthony Banda and parked it over the fence in left-center field to give the Red Sox lead. His eight roundtrippers are the third-most he's amassed as a Minor Leaguer. He went deep a career-high 17 times with Class A Advanced Visalia and Double-A Mobile in 2012.
The 2009 Draft pick -- who came into the year averaging a dinger every 44.3 at-bats as a Minor Leaguer -- has gone yard every 14.1 at-bats this year.
Gameday box score
A veteran of 620 Major League games between Arizona and Kansas City, the 27-year-old began the season in The Show. After spending his first 10 seasons with the D-backs, Owings signed with the Royals last December and broke camp with the team. He batted .133/.192/.222 in 33 games before he was released. Boston inked him to a Minor League contract on June 17 and he joined Pawtucket three days later.
Playing extensively in the Minors for the first time since 2013, Owings has been an offensive boon for Pawtucket. The infielder is batting .327/.381/.593 with eight homers and 23 RBIs in 30 games. He's hit .295 in more than 2,200 Minor League at-bats and is a career .242 hitter in the Majors.
Chad De La Guerra and Jantzen Witte had two hits apiece for the Red Sox, who have won five of their last six. Kyle Hart (6-4) allowed one run on two hits and three walks with eight strikeouts in six innings. Tanner Houck retired two batters and walked a pair in the eighth. Boston's No. 5 prospect remained unscored upon in four Triple-A appearances.
Although limited to four innings, McKay didn't allow a run during his sixth appearance and fifth start for Durham. MLB.com's No. 21 overall prospect surrendered three hits and two walks while fanning six over four frames. The 23-year-old southpaw has tossed 18 consecutive shutout innings to lower his ERA with the Bulls to 0.93.
McKay last gave up a Minor League run on June 9 -- he made his Major League debut on June 29 and has posted a 3.72 ERA in four starts for the Rays. The Louisville product hasn't surrendered more than a run in 12 of his 14 appearances this year between Double-A Montgomery and Durham.
Banda (0-1), working in his seventh rehab appearance in the Minors, allowed four hits and a walk with four strikeouts in 2 2/3 innings.
Michael Avallone is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @MavalloneMiLB.