Woodbridge, VA (September 8, 2013) - The Salem Red Sox won their 10th straight game on Sunday night, shutting out Potomac 4-0 to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series. The Red Sox return to the Roanoke Valley on Tuesday night with the opportunity to take the Mills Cup in a clean sweep.
Mike Augliera struck out seven in six and two-thirds innings, while Madison Younginer retired the final seven Nationals to finish Salem's second shutout of the postseason. In four games, the Red Sox pitching staff has allowed only four earned runs, creating a scintillating 0.95 ERA in the playoffs.
Offensively, Sean Coyle led the way with two hits and two RBI, while Mookie Betts went 3-for-4 to extend his consecutive games on-base streak to 34 games. The Red Sox took an early 2-0 lead in the second, capitalizing on Brett Mooneyham's early erratic pitching. The Nationals starter walked four in the first two innings and was fortunate to only allow a pair of runs in the second inning.
Matty Johnson took a bases loaded walk to force home the first run, while David Chester scurried home on a wild pitch to make it 2-zip. In the fifth, Coyle ripped an RBI triple into the right-center field gap, bringing home Johnson all the way from first to give the Sox a 3-0 edge. And two innings later, Nick Natoli drew a leadoff walk, moved to second on Johnson's sacrifice, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and crossed the plate on Coyle's RBI single into left field.
Up 4-0, Augliera took command on the mound, matching a career-high with seven strikeouts. The righthander struck out the side in the sixth, achieving that feat for the first time all season by fanning Michael Taylor, Adrian Nieto, and Kevin Keyes. Augliera departed with two on and two out in the seventh, but Younginer induced a grounder to short from Cutter Dykstra to escape the threat.
Incredibly, the Salem Sox have won 10 straight games, 15 of their last 16, and 21 of their last 24. One win away from hoisting the trophy, the Sox will return to action in game three of the finals at LewisGale Field on Tuesday night. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05.