In the second inning, back-to-back hits from Trayce Thompson and Dan Black started a rally against Wilmington starter Brooks Pounders. A fielder's choice from Michael Earley made it 1-0.
Black added to the margin in the fourth inning when he teed off with a laser homer down the right field line to make it 2-0.
In the fifth, back-to-back singles got things going again for Winston-Salem when Keenyn Walker and Marcus Semien got aboard. A sacrifice fly from Brandon Short pushed the lead to 3-0, chasing Pounders from the game.
Black, Earley and Mike Blanke all reached base to start the sixth inning, including extra-base hits from Earley and Blanke to make the lead five runs.
The Dash earned a single run in the seventh and a pair in ninth.
The Blue Rocks had very few chances to score runs. Their best shot came in the fifth inning. Trailing 3-0, they had two men aboard with one out. Chris Elder struck out swinging and Angel Franco popped to short against Dash starter Justin Collop to extinguish the threat.
The Rocks conclude this series with Winston-Salem at 7:05 p.m. on Thursday. Wilmington will send RHP Leondy Perez (3-3, 3.86) to the mound while Winston will go with RHP Steve McCray (5-3, 3.77). Broadcast coverage begins at 6:35 p.m. as studio host Rob Cunningham brings fans the Rocks Report Pre-game Show, presented by Wawa, on 89.7 WGLS-FM and online at wgls.rowan.edu.
PEBBLES OF KNOWLEDGE:
The Blue Rocks were 0-5 with RISP on Wednesday. The Blue Rocks only have 16 hits in their last 95 at-bats (.168) with RISP dating back to the beginning of their most recent road trip.
The Rocks have gotten little production from the No. 3 spot in the lineup this season. Minus the numbers of the since-promoted prospect Brian Fletcher, three-hole hitters have a meager average of .207 (71-for-343) with 65 strikeouts.
The Blue Rocks are 4-7 amidst a stretch of 15 straight against Southern Division squads. They own a 25-47 (.347) record in interdivisional play. That is in stark contrast to their 25-17 (.595) mark in intradivisional competition. Once this long run against the South concludes, Wilmington's schedule ends with 18 of the final 22 contests against its brothers in the North.
The Blue Rocks were shut out for a league-leading 13th time on Wednesday night. They last time they had been shutout came against these same Dash on July 31 in Winston-Salem by a 2-0 mark.
Geulin Beltre added another outfield assist when he gunned down Dan Black in the second inning, his 18th of the season. His total is good enough for second in the Carolina League, while no other outfielder has reached double digits in the circuit.
The Winston-Salem Dash swiped five bases on Wednesday night, marking a season-best for opponent baserunners. That figure is the most steals against the Blue Rocks by an opposing squad since August 11, 2011 when the Lynchburg Hillcats stole six bases.
Even with yesterday's loss, the Blue Rocks still hold a share of first place in the Northern Division after the Frederick Keys leap-frogged the Hillcats and the Potomac Nationals. It marks the ninth day the Blue Rocks have held at least a portion of first place in the North. The four-time Carolina League champions are attempting to make their first playoff appearance since pacing the loop with 84 wins in 2009.
Like Cyle Hankerd, Dan Black has beat up Blue Rocks pitching this season. In 18 games against the Blue Crew, he is hitting .371 with four homers and 13 RBIs. He holds a triple slash line of .443/.586/1.029.