The Lynchburg Hillcats plated two runs in the ninth and got the go-ahead run to the plate but could not complete the comeback, losing 4-3 to the Salem Red Sox Monday at LewisGale Field inside Salem Memorial Ballpark. The Hillcats end up 6-and-14 against the Red Sox this season and back into the playoffs on a four-game losing streak, which matches their season high. Ryan Weber set a new season-high with eight strikeouts but took a loss despite a quality start. Levi Hyams had two of the Hillcats four hits in the game while Josh Elander and Trent Moses each drove in runs in the ninth.
The Hillcats (33-37, 69-70) sent the minimum to the plate for the first five innings against Salem (43-27, 76-64) starter William Cuevas. The Red Sox got the first run on an RBI-groundout by Mookie Betts in the second inning.
The Hillcats finally got on the board in the sixth. Hyams doubled to lead off the frame then advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt attempt turned single by Matt Weaver. With runners at the corners Cory Brownsten bounced into an around-the-horn double play to allow the tying run to score.
The Red Sox wasted no time getting back ahead. Henry Ramos hit a one-out double then an intentional walk and hit batter loaded the bases with two outs for Betts, who doubled off the left field wall to plate a pair. Elander got the Hillcats their second run with an RBI-fielder's choice in the ninth and then came around to score on an RBI-single by Moses.
Weber (6-5) went six innings and allowed three runs on five hits while striking out eight. Cuevas (8-9) also went six innings and allowed a run on four hits.
The Hillcats will have an off day Tuesday before beginning the 2013 Carolina League Divisional Series with the Potomac Nationals Wednesday night at 7:05pm in Woodbridge, VA. Williams Perez (6-2, 2.62) gets the start for the Hillcats against Sammy Solis (2-1, 3.43) for the Nationals. You can hear the live radio broadcast starting with the Hillcats On-Deck Show, powered by Honda/Suzuki of Lynchburg, at 6:40pm on 97.9 FM The Planet and lynchburg-hillcats.com