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Brentz continues to sizzle at the plate

BRADENTON, Fla. -- That big hitter at the top of Boston's spring leaderboard isn't David Ortiz. Bryce Brentz went into Sunday's game against Pittsburgh leading the Red Sox in hits (six), home runs (three) and RBIs (six), and he reached base three times in Boston's 4-1 win over the Pirates.

Brentz singled twice and drew a walk, and he scored one of Boston's four runs. Brentz, the 36th overall selection in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, went into Sunday's game with an .833 slugging percentage, and manager John Farrell seems thrilled with the outfielder's performance.

"He's been very impressive. We all recognize that he's got well above-average power," Farrell said of Brentz, who played at Triple-A Pawtucket last year. "[On Saturday] in Sarasota, when he got the two-strike base hit the other way, that was probably as encouraging as any ball that he's squared up all spring. It's a matter of managing the count and putting a two-strike approach together when it's called for."

Brentz batted .264 with 17 home runs and 56 RBIs last year for Pawtucket, and Farrell said that the 25-year-old is equally comfortable in left and right field. Brentz, just 25 years old, is a career .273 hitter in the Minors, and he's managed to post a double-digit homer total in three consecutive seasons.

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for
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