KINSTON, NC - Julio Pablo Martinez's big night sunk the Frederick Keys (24-39, 53-79) in a 6-3 contest against the Down East Wood Ducks (36-28, 86-48) on Thursday night at Grainger Stadium. Martinez hit a lead-off home run in the first inning and tallied four total hits, tying a career-high. The Keys offensively were stunted, as they collected just four hits which came in the bottom third of the order. With the loss, the Keys split the four-game series and will head back to Nymeo Field for the final homestand.
The Keys briefly held a 2-1 lead after Robbie Thorburn doubled in a pair of runners who reached on fielding errors, but Down East answered right back. They scored three runs on four hits in the bottom of the fourth, including RBI doubles from Martinez and Bubba Thompson.
With his team leading 4-2, Down East starter Sal Mendez struggled to find the strike zone. He walked the bases loaded and then walked Cole Billingsley to force in a run. The Keys had a chance to tie it in the sixth with a man in scoring position but hit into a double-play to end the threat.
Brenan Hanifee (9-10) lasted in the sixth inning but gave up two more runs on a single from Curtis Terry. He took the loss and allowed six runs and a career-high 11 hits over six innings.
Mendez (7-2) earned the win despite walking five batters in large part because of Jefferson Medina (S, 6), who threw four scoreless innings in relief to seal the victory.
Matthias Dietz made his first appearance since July 1while Zach Matson pitched a scoreless eighth inning. Offensively, the first six hitters in the Keys lineup went 0-for-20 with five walks and three runs scored.
The Keys return to Nymeo Field for their final homestand of the season on Friday, August 30 as they take on the Potomac Nationals. Friday is "Art in the Park" Night and the Keys will wear special jerseys designed by local artist, Gary Erskine. These jerseys can be bid on via the Livesource App, with proceeds going to the Frederick Arts Council. RHP Luis Perez (6-1, 2.97) takes the mound for Frederick against RHP Jackson Tetreault (3-2, 1.93) for Potomac. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00pm with pregame coverage starting at 6:45pm on the Tune In app and frederickkeys.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.