Top Red Sox prospect Darwinzon Hernandez suffers loss in second start

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Darwinzon Hernandez's second act wasn't as impressive as his first.

The prized left-hander and top Red Sox pitching prospect made his second start of the season at Double A on Tuesday night in Reading against the Fightin' Phils and took his first loss.

Hernandez went five innings, allowing six hits and three runs (2 earned), walking three and striking out five. He threw 90 pitches, but only 52 strikes, suggesting that his control remains a work in progress. Hernandez has walked seven batters in 10 innings this season.

Tuesday's performance marked a step down from his debut vs. that same Reading club on April 7, when he limited the visitors to two hits over five shutout innings while striking out 10.

Extra base hits were also an issue, with Hernandez surrendering three doubles, including two by Adam Haseley.

The 22-year-old was making only his second Double A start, however, so there will be a learning curve. The 6-foot-2, 245-pounder opened eyes during the Arizona Fall League by striking out 24 in only 11.1 innings, and he then built on that performance with a solid spring training that had manager Alex Cora noting he could eventually help the big league club this season.

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