SALEM, VA. - A big first inning and a costly error buried the Frederick Keys (29-36) as they dropped Thursday night's contest 8-4 to the Salem Red Sox (21-42) at Hayley Toyota Field. The Keys had several offensive opportunities, tallying 13 hits, but went 3-for-15 with runners in scoring position. Blaine Knight (0-3) struggled to command the zone, allowing nine hits and eight runs, three of which came in the fifth inning after a fly-ball that could have ended the inning was dropped. The teams combined for a total of 25 hits, including seven doubles and eight multi-hit performances.
Trailing 5-4 in the fifth, Knight was able to retire the first two batters but then allowed a full-count single to Keith Curcio and a full-count walk to Edgar Corcino. Garrett Benge then powered one to centerfield and Kirvin Moesquit hunted it down, but the ball hit off his glove and rolled to the wall, allowing both runners to score. Charlie Madden then singled in Benge to make it 8-4.
The Keys jumped out to an early 1-0 lead thanks to J.C. Escarra 's RBI single in first inning, but the Red Sox roughed up Knight in the bottom half. Salem sent eight men to the plate, tying the game on Ryan Fitzgerald's single and scoring two runs on Corcino's base hit to make it 3-1.
Frederick rallied back in the second, however. Moesquit and Cole Billingsley both singled and a walk issued by Daniel Gonzalez loaded the bases. Jomar Reyes then stroked a single into centerfield to tie the game 3-3.
Billingsley and Willy Yahn lead off the fourth inning with a pair of base hits. Gonzalez induced two fly-outs and came a strike away from ending the inning, but Ryan Ripken bounced a double past the first baseman to score Billingsley and give the Keys a 4-3 lead.
Knight then allowed the first two base runners to reach in the home half of the fourth. They advanced to second and third on a sacrifice bunt and Tanner Nishioka's sacrifice fly tied the game 4-4. Jagger Rusconi then doubled in the go-ahead run.
Knight took the loss after allowing eight runs (five earned) on nine hits while walking and striking out a pair. Reed Hayes and Juan Echevarria gave the Keys 3.1 scoreless innings in relief.
Gonzalez (2-6) picked up the win despite giving up four runs on 10 hits and walking three batters. Eduard Bazardo was outstanding in relief, tossing four scoreless and striking out six to earn his fourth save.
Reyes finished 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles and two RBIs while Billingsley tallied three hits and scored three times. Corcino finished 2-for-2 with two runs, two runs, and two walks. Rusconi had a pair of doubles.
The Keys and Red Sox square off for a doubleheader on Friday, June 14. RHP Brenan Hanifee (4-5, 4.47) will face RHP Bryan Mata (1-1, 1.83) in game one while RHP David Lebron (2-0, 2.74) is opposite RHP Dylan Thompson (0-4, 5.94) in game two. First pitch for game one is scheduled for 6:05pm. Fans can listen to the game at frederickkeys.com or on the TuneIn app with pregame coverage starting at 5:50pm.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.