Though Henry Owens, Boston's top pitching prospect, was promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket this week, Brian Johnson showed on Tuesday that Double-A Portland still has one of the best left-handers in the Eastern League.
Johnson, Boston's No. 12 prospect, held Bowie to three hits in eight scoreless innings. He had to settle for a no-decision after the Baysox tied the score against reliever Nick Ramirez in the ninth, though the Sea Dogs went on to win, 3-1, in 11 innings.
Bowie center fielder Mike Yastrzemski led off the game with a double, but Johnson didn't allow another baserunner until Michael Ohlman led off the sixth inning with a single. Yastrzemski added a leadoff single in the seventh, but that was all the hits Johnson surrendered.
Thanks to three double plays, Johnson faced the minimum 24 batters in a career-high eight innings. He struck out five and threw 98 pitches.
Johnson began the season at Class A Advanced Salem, though he spent just a month in the Carolina League before earning a promotion to Portland. Since joining the Sea Dogs, he has made 17 starts and is 9-2 with a 1.89 ERA. He has struck out 83 and walked 28 in 100 innings.
Between Salem and Portland, Johnson is 12-3 with a 2.29 ERA and 116 strikeouts in 125 2/3 innings. He ranks third in the Minor League in victories, trailing only Owens (15) and the Rockies' No. 20 prospect, Antonio Senzatela (13).
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. Teddy Cahill is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less