GRAHAM SMACKER: Lynchburg right-hander J.R. Graham, one of the top arms in the Carolina League, held Salem to three hits over 6 2/3 innings as the Hillcats beat the Red Sox 5-3 on Monday afternoon in front of 2,776 at Salem Memorial Ballpark.
QUICK TURNAROUND: The Sox got home about 2 a.m. Monday after playing Sunday night at Frederick, and they looked a little sluggish early in the game. Graham, hitting 95 mph on the stadium gun, held them scoreless through the first six innings while improving to 6-0.
FAMILIAR FACE: Outfielder Ryan Kalish, who played 53 games with Boston in 2010, is with Salem briefly as he rehabs from shoulder surgery. Tuesday’s game is expected to be his fourth and final game with the club before he gets his next assignment.
“It’s fun to be around the team,” said Kalish, who batted .304 in 32 games for Salem in 2009 on his way to the bigs. “But I feel like I’ve brought nothing but losses so far. Wish I could bring a win here.”
TIMING’S THERE: True, the Sox have lost three straight for only the second time this year, but nobody’s blaming Kalish. He singled, stole a base and scored a run for the Sox on Monday. He’s 4 for 12 with a homer so far, and he just got under a pitch in the ninth inning that he skied to right.
“I feel good,” Kalish said. “I’m actually pleasantly surprised a little bit by how I feel, which is good. It’s a process and I know that. It’s going to take time to get back in rhythm, but so far I’m not too late on balls. Today we faced some guys that were throwing pretty hard.”
ON THE MEND: Especially given all the injuries to Boston’s outfield, Kalish likely would be in the majors now had he not hurt his shoulder making a diving catch for Triple-A Pawtucket in April of 2011.
“It was frustrating, because it wasn’t just a clear-cut surgery,” Kalish said. “I tried to rehab first and it didn’t work. But it’s baseball, man. People get hurt all the time, and so far, the shoulder’s pretty good.”
ON DECK: Sox RHP Matt Barnes (2-1, 1.13) will make his second home start at 7:05 Tuesday against Lynchburg RHP Aaron Northcraft (4-3, 3.86). – Aaron McFarling
-Lynchburg scored five runs in the first three innings against Salem starter Ryan Pressly, who dropped to 4-2 and saw his ERA climb to 6.19 after a five-inning effort. He allowed nine hits, fanned four and walked two. The big blow was a two-run homer by Edward Salcedo in the third.
-Xander Bogaerts had an RBI double and an RBI groundout for Salem. He also made his eighth error at short when he misplayed an in-between hop. I was surprised to see it was eight; he’s always seemed so solid in these home games. Must have had most of those on the road.
-Graham said he’s been impressed with Jackie Bradley Jr. “He’s a good kid; I really like talking to him,” Kalish said. “And obviously what he’s doing this season has been pretty remarkable so far. A .500 on-base percentage is pretty tough to do. You can learn from guys who are younger. You can learn from anyone. So I’m watching him and his approach, I really like what I see from him, for sure.”
-Your daily Bradley update: 1-for-4 with a single leading off the bottom of the first. Now hitting .368.
-Lynchburg hitting coach Bobby Moore was ejected by the first base umpire just two batters into the game for arguing an out-safe call.
-Spent some time in the stands today, and much like the team, the crowd just couldn’t muster much enthusiasm today. I don’t blame them; hot day and not much to cheer about until late.
-Just figured I’d add this last nugget because of my Sunday column: When asked if he was going to check out any old Salem haunts tonight, Kalish said no. He said he’ll be taking it easy — and watching the Celtics game.