FREDERICK, MD-The Frederick Keys batted around in the first, scoring five times off Salem starter Cody Kukuk, while the Red Sox squandered multiple bases loaded opportunities throughout the game to give the orange and black a 10-3 win on Thursday night at Harry Grove Stadium. It was Frederick's fourth win in five games, and the club's seventh in its last eight home games. In spite of the victory though, the Keys did not gain any ground in the wildcard, on account of a Lynchburg win over Carolina. With five games left in the season, Frederick remains one game behind the Hillcats in the wildcard race.
Wasting little time in the first, the Keys put the first five men on base against Cody Kukuk. Following a four pitch walk to Johnny Ruettiger, Adrian Marin drove his teammate home with a double to the left-center gap. Marin then scored on a ground-rule two-bagger by Trey Mancini. From there, Kukuk walked Chih-Hsien Chiang, while a single by Jason Esposito and an error by Red Sox centerfielder Matty Johnson scored Mancini and moved Chiang to third. Jerome Pena (RBI single) and Austin Wynns (sac-fly) rounded out the scoring.
Sebastian Vader walked five on the night, but negotiated his way around bases loaded jams in the first in third. After a single by Carlos Asuaje and walks to Reed Gragnani and Matt Gedman in the first, Vader (3-4) got Mario Martinez to groundout to third. Two innings later, the righty also performed a Houdini act, inducing a groundball out from Gragnani to keep the bags loaded. On the night, Salem left 11 on base and went 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
The Red Sox plated two of their three runs in the second on a wild pitch and a sac-fly by Asuaje which scored Kendrick Perkins. However the Keys plated two runs in the fourth. With two outs, Wynns singled and advanced to second after a walk to Ruettiger. Both men moved up an additional 90 feet on a wild pitch, and scored on a throwing error by Martinez, the Sox third baseman.
Tagged with his seventh loss, Kukuk (4-7) lasted just 3.2 innings, giving up seven runs (five earned) on six hits. He struck out three and walked five. Although he came up an inning shy of his fifth straight quality start, Vader earned his third win. Working 5.2 innings, he allowed two runs on six hits and struck out four.
In the sixth, the Keys used a double by Pena and an RBI single by Ruettiger to stretch the lead to 8-2, before completing their scoring one inning later on a two-run double by Wynns. Making his Carolina League debut, the Keys catcher finished 2-for-3 with a double, a run scored and three RBIs.
Dennis Torres allowed just one hit over three innings of one-hit relief, while Jimmy Yacabonis worked a clean ninth to close things out.
Frederick and Salem conclude their season series on Friday night at Harry Grove Stadium. Mark Blackmar (9-1, 3.06) gets the ball for the Keys and will be countered by Sox righty Jacob Dahlstrand (3-0, 2.08). First pitch is slated for 7:00 p.m. and the broadcast can be heard on 1450 AM The Source. For tickets, fans can call 301-815-9939 or visit frederickkeys.com.