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Middlebrooks continues to mash
Top prospect homers in fourth straight game for red-hot Sox
04/21/2012 9:21 PM ET
Will Middlebrooks has six homers and 19 RBIs in his last eight games.
Will Middlebrooks has six homers and 19 RBIs in his last eight games. (Kevin Littlefield/MiLB.com)
Another game, another home run for Will Middlebrooks.

The Red Sox's top prospect went deep for the fourth straight game -- and sixth in his last eight -- and drove in two more runs Saturday afternoon as Pawtucket topped Durham, 9-5, for its sixth consecutive win.

"We're getting hits, we're getting good games from everybody up and down the lineup," Middlebrooks said.

Middlebrooks grabbed a share of the Minor League lead with his 21st and 22nd RBIs. His seven homers are second only to Toledo Mud Hens designated hitter Brad Eldred's eight. Middlebrooks has driven in 19 runs in his last eight games and has 10 multi-hit efforts in 16 contests this season.

Asked if he's ever had a stretch like this, Middlebrooks laughed.

"No, not really, to be honest," he said. "I'm just trying to see it, man, and get down early and get a good pitch to hit."

The PawSox jumped all over Durham starter Alexander Torres, scoring in each of the first six frames. Mauro Gomez opened the scoring with a two-run homer, his third in two days and fifth of the season, in the first.

Middlebrooks led off the second with an opposite-field shot off the Rays' No. 7 prospect. Four of the his seven homers have come off southpaws like Torres.

Gomez added a third RBI with a sacrifice fly in the third, Daniel Nava delivered a run-scoring single in the fourth and Lars Anderson smacked his first homer of the season in the fifth, a solo shot off reliever Jhonny Nunez.

"We've really just been selective at the plate, getting good pitches to hit," Middlebrooks said.

Durham finally figured out Pawtucket starter Ross Ohlendorf in the sixth, scoring four runs on four hits, two hit batters and a walk. Ohlendorf, the reigning International League Pitcher of the Week, had yielded only two earned runs over 12 innings in winning his first two starts. The 29-year-old Princeton product improved to 3-0 after throwing 91 pitches -- 54 for strikes -- in 5 2/3 frames.

Pawtucket responded with three runs in the bottom of the sixth. Middlebrooks plated the third with a looping single to right field.

Nevin Ashley homered in the eighth, but the Bulls suffered their sixth consecutive defeat.

Jose Iglesias and Ryan Lavarnway -- the Red Sox's No. 11 and No. 4 prospects, respectively -- joined Middlebrooks and Nava with two hits apiece for Pawtucket.

Torres fell to 1-2 after giving up five runs on five hits over 3 2/3 innings. He walked five, struck out five and saw his ERA rise to 7.71 in four starts.

Durham fell to 1-9 on a 14-game road trip. It plays two more games in Pawtucket before wrapping up the trek with a two-game set in Norfolk.

John Parker is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
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