For the second straight start, Darwinzon Hernandez blanked his opponent. This time, he did it while having a career day.
The seventh-ranked Red Sox prospect tossed 5 2/3 hitless innings, recording a career-high 10 strikeouts, as Class A Advanced Salem took down Potomac, 7-4, on Sunday at Northwest Federal Field at Pfitzner Stadium.
Gameday box score
Hernandez extended his scoreless streak to 11 2/3 innings. In his last start on Tuesday, he blanked Down East on five hits over six frames with seven punchouts.
On Sunday, the Red Sox staked the 21-year-old to a two-run lead before he took the mound, and Hernandez quickly retired the side in the first inning with a pair of strikeouts. He plunked Tres Barrera to begin the second but coaxed a double-play grounder from Aldrem Corredor to erase him.
In the third, Hernandez (5-5) struck out three and pitched around a one-out walk to David Masters. The Venezuela native retired the side in order in the fourth before running into his most signifcant trouble in the fifth. After getting Corredor to ground out, he issued three consecutive walks to load the bases. But he buckled down and fanned Jack Sundberg and Bryan Mejia to keep the P-Nats out of the hit and run columns.
At 89 pitches, Hernandez came out for the sixth and struck out Nationals No. 5 prospect Luis Garcia and Ian Sagdal. Barrera worked a walk on the southpaw's 102nd pitch, matching his season high. He threw 61 strikes and took advantage of four groundouts.
Hernandez lowered his ERA to 4.33. Over 70 2/3 innings, the 2013 international signee has racked up 81 strikeouts, good for fourth in the Carolina League.
Red Sox No. 10 prospect C.J. Chatham went 3-for-5 with a double, RBI and two runs scored. Twelfth-ranked Bobby Dalbec reached in four of his five plate appearances, going 2-for-3 with a pair of walks, but his three-game homer streak was snapped.
Sagdal crushed a grand slam in the ninth off reliever Yankory Pimentel.