SALEM, VA. - Good pitching stifled the Frederick Keys (29-38) offensively as they were swept by the Salem Red Sox (23-42) during Friday night's doubleheader. Bryan Mata pitched six scoreless innings in a 1-0 shutout loss during game one while Dylan Thompson held the Keys to just two runs in a 4-2 defeat in game two. The Keys did not advance a runner to second after the first inning in game one and were 2-for-7 with runners in scoring position during the second contest. The Keys have now lost four straight and 12 of their last 13.
Mata and Brenan Hanifee battled through six innings, and both recorded their best starts of the season. Hanifee ran into trouble in the fourth inning after allowing two base hits to lead off the inning. On the first pitch he threw to Pedro Castellanos, he induced a groundball back up the middle for Sean Miller , but Miller mishandled the ball behind the second base bag, and a resulting error led to a bases loaded and no outs situation.
Keith Curcio then lifted a fly-ball to centerfield. Victor Acosta tagged from third, and Cole Billingsley 's throw was just a second late and the Red Sox were able to take a 1-0 lead. Hanifee then got a double play to end the inning.
Mata (2-1) was stellar, tossing six scoreless innings and allowing just three hits while walking two and striking out five. Zach Schellenger (S,1) pitched a flawless seventh.
Hanifee (4-6) took the loss on his best start of the season. The righthander allowed no walks for the first time this season while striking out a season-high six batters in six innings of work. It was his third quality outing in his last four starts.
The Keys had an opportunity to break things open in the second inning of game two as Zach Jarrett and Miller both singled to put runners at first and second. The Red Sox, however, were able to turn a double play to end the threat.
The Red Sox jumped all over David Lebron in the fourth inning. After cruising through the first time through the lineup, Salem sent six batters straight to the plate. With runners at second and third, Ryan Fitzgerald was able to punch one into left field, beating the over shift and scoring both runners to put Salem up 2-0. Pedro Castellanos then doubled to put both runners in scoring position, and Edgar Corcino drilled the first pitch he saw into right-centerfield. His double put the Red Sox up 4-0.
Lebron (2-1) completed the third inning but did not come back on for the fourth. He gave up four runs on six hits, two walks and struck out five in his shortest start of the season.
The Keys fought back in the next half inning. Jarrett lead off with a walk and stole second before Miller crushed a ball to deep left-center field. It looked like Curcio, the center fielder, was going to make the catch but he collided with Acosta and the ball dropped between them. Miller was credited with an RBI triple, and he scored on Yeltsin Gudino 's infield single to cut the lead in half 4-2.
That was all the offense could muster. Thompson (1-4) scattered six hits and walked just two over six innings. He came out in the seventh but allowed the first two runners to reach. Andrew Schwaab (S,1) then entered the game and struck out a batter. Billingsley then lined one at third baseman Korby Batesole, who doubled off the runner at first base to end the game.
The Keys and Red Sox square off again on Saturday, June 15. RHP Michael Baumann (1-4, 3.86) will start for Frederick opposite RHP Kutter Crawford (0-4, 5.95) for Salem. First pitch 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.