Gonzalez goes five hitless out of Drive 'pen

Red Sox right-hander dazzles; Hill homers in third straight game

Daniel Gonzalez made just one relief appearance in 23 games across two levels last season. (Tom Priddy/MiLB.com)

By Chris Tripodi / MiLB.com | April 12, 2017 10:43 PM ET

Despite starting 22 games last season, Daniel Gonzalez is no stranger to the bullpen. And he looked more than comfortable in a relief role Wednesday.

The 21-year-old right-hander hurled five hitless innings in Class A Greenville's 4-1 win over Lexington, striking out four and walking one. It was Gonzalez's second appearance out of the bullpen this season after he made six starts for Class A Short Season Lowell and 16 for Greenville in 2016.

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He relieved 25th-ranked Red Sox prospect Darwinzon Hernandez, who struck out eight and allowed one run on five hits and a walk over four frames. Gonzalez (1-0) allowed the second batter he faced to reach when he plunked Kort Peterson, but he induced three outs in the air to get out of the fifth.

The 6-foot-5, 180-pound Venezuela native fanned three of the next five batters before walking Gabriel Cancel, who was caught stealing to end the seventh. Gonzalez tossed 1-2-3 innings in the eighth and ninth to close out the victory.

Gonzalez wasn't the only star for the Drive, as Tyler Hill homered for the third straight game to continue his unexpected power surge. The 21-year-old outfielder entered the season with four homers in 386 at-bats but has three through seven games in the South Atlantic League.

Video: Greenville's Hill homers in third straight

Hill went deep to left-center field with two outs in the seventh off left-hander Garrett Davila, the Royals' 18th-ranked prospect. The blast, which came on a 1-2 pitch, capped the scoring.

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A 2014 19th-round pick, Hill also scored in the fourth inning after he was hit by a pitch by Jace Vines (0-1). Three of his five hits this season have left the yard.

Cancel went 2-for-3 with a walk and scored the lone run for the Legends.

Chris Tripodi is an editor for MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @christripodi. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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