Frederick holds off Winston-Salem in wild opener

Jimenez finishes triple shy of the cycle in 8-7 road loss

Eloy Jimenez delivered a first-inning double, third-inning homer and fifth-inning single on Tuesday. (Larry Kave)

By Winston-Salem Dash | August 8, 2017 7:03 PM ET

FREDERICK, Md. (Aug. 8, 2017) Eloy Jimenez fell a triple shy of the cycle, and Seby Zavala posted a 3-for-5 effort with two RBIs, but a late-inning homer proved to be the difference as Frederick outslugged Winston-Salem 8-7 in Tuesday's series opener at Nymeo Field at Harry Grove Stadium.

Jimenez went 3-for-5 with a homer, a double and a single, notching three runs scored and an RBI in the loss. Since joining Winston-Salem on July 13, Jimenez boasts a .369 average with six homers, 20 RBIs and 16 runs in 23 games.

With the game tied at six in the bottom of the seventh, Dash reliever Louie Lechich (2-4) plunked Ademar Rifaela on his only pitch of the inning before being replaced by Mike Morrison. Two batters later, Yermin Mercedes untied the game with a two-run homer to left, his 13th of the year, to give Frederick (21-22, 52-60) an 8-6 lead it would not relinquish. 

Mike Burke (3-0) spun 3.2 hitless innings in relief for the Keys, fanning four while surrendering just one walk to the first batter he faced in Brady Conlan.

However, Winston-Salem (22-22, 46-68) would not go down quietly. Luis Basabe led off the ninth against Frederick reliever Mitch Horacek, reaching on a fielding error by third baseman Jomar Reyes. Bryant Flete then grounded a tailor-made double play ball to Brallan Perez, but the Keys second baseman bobbled it and threw the ball wide of first base, allowing Basabe to advance to third. Horacek then uncorked a wild pitch as Flete took off towards second, sending Basabe in from third and pushing the tying run in Flete 90 feet away.

After a strikeout of Zack Collins, Tanner Chleborad replaced Horacek on the slab and retired Jimenez on a sharply-struck grounder to the shortstop for the second out. After a walk to Brandon Dulin, Chleborad induced a flyout to left from Zavala to end the Dash's comeback attempt and collect his 16th save, which are second-most in the Carolina League.

Winston-Salem wasted no time attacking Frederick right-hander Cody Sedlock over the first three innings, as Dulin and Jimenez blasted a pair of homers to give the Dash an early 3-0 lead. Dulin's two-run shot in the first, his fourth at the High-A level, landed halfway up the center field batter's eye, while Jimenez hammered a mammoth blast over the left field fence in the third. 

Dulin and Jimenez's long balls marked just the second time in Sedlock's professional career that he has served up multiple homers in an outing.

Frederick's offense then began a scoring stretch of five consecutive innings, starting in the third against Dash starter Jimmy Lambert. The Keys plated two in the third on Rifaela's run-scoring single to left and Glynn Davis' sacrifice fly. Rifaela tallied his 65th RBI of the season, tied with Carolina's Lucas Erceg for the league lead. 

Frederick kept rolling in the fourth, as Shane Hoelscher clocked a two-run shot to right for his sixth home run of the season to give the Keys a 4-3 edge.

In the fifth, Winston-Salem loaded the bases against Frederick reliever and former White Sox farmhand Alex Katz. Collins and Jimenez started the inning with back-to-back singles, and Dulin walked to load the bases. Zavala then roped a two-run single to center as the Dash retook the lead, and Jameson Fisher extended it to 6-4 with a bloop RBI single.

The Keys clawed back in the home half of the inning, as Mercedes singled in Rifaela to slice Winston's lead in half at 6-5. Frederick then tied the contest at six in the sixth on Jay Gonzalez' RBI base knock before the Mercedes homer brought about the game's final lead change.

The Dash continue their three-game series with the Keys on Wednesday at 7 p.m. from Nymeo Field at Harry Grove Stadium. A.J. Puckett (9-7, 3.90 ERA) will make his first appearance with Winston-Salem on Wednesday after joining the White Sox organization via a trade with Kansas City for big leaguer Melky Cabrera. Puckett is scheduled to oppose Frederick left-hander Reid Love (2-4, 3.95 ERA). Pregame coverage begins at 6:45 p.m., and fans can catch all of the action on wsdash.com/broadcast and the TuneIn Radio App.

Following this short road trip, #YourHomeTeam continues its stretch of 21 home contests in 27 games with an eight-game homestand at BB&T Ballpark. Starting on Friday, the Dash will square off against the Lynchburg Hillcats over the weekend, followed by a five-game, four-day stretch against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans that includes a doubleheader on Tuesday, August 15.

The promotional schedule for the upcoming homestand includes our final All-You-Can-Eat for Free Night on August 14, another Lowes Foods Thirsty Thursday and Family Sunday, Pups in the Park and much more. Also, for Winston-Salem's doubleheader against the Pelicans, the Dash will pay homage to their previous moniker once more this season, donning throwback Warthogs uniforms for game one before changing back to the Dash for the twin bill finale. 

As a thank you to the fans, the Dash are offering $7 tickets to this doubleheader as part of the team's Fan Appreciation efforts. These tickets must be purchased in advance and will be good for both games of the twin bill. For more information, call the Dash at (336) 714-2287 or visit wsdash.com.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

View More