Jay Groome's first start of the season on Monday for Class A Greenville went inauspiciously, with the Red Sox's top pitching prospect leaving the game with lat soreness after a visit from the Drive's trainer in the top of the second inning against Lexington.
Groome, who is ranked 39th on MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list, was removed from the game after just 1 1/3 innings, with six runs already in and the bases loaded. All three runners would score in the inning, giving the 18-year-old left-hander a final line of nine earned runs on seven hits and three walks in his South Atlantic League debut. He fanned one in the outing, while throwing 29 of his 53 pitches for strikes.
According to farm director Ben Crockett, Groome left the game with mild lat soreness.
Groome yielded a single to Lexington's first batter of the game before issuing a pair of walks to load the bases with one out. The next batter, Emmanuel Rivera, followed with an RBI single, while Manny Olloque's grand slam to left-center field extended the Legends' lead, 5-0.
Groome didn't fare any better in the second inning, allowing the first five batters to reach base on three hits and two walks before departing the game.
Groome was MLBPipeline.com's top-ranked amateur prospect for the 2016 Draft, though concerns about his signability ultimately caused the New Jersey prep to fall to the Red Sox with the No. 12 pick. He signed for $3.65 million, a franchise record for a drafted pitcher, and then made three starts, two in the Rookie Gulf Coast League and one in the New York-Penn League, during which he allowed two earned runs on three hits with 10 strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings.
Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.