SALEM, VA -The Frederick Keys (21-18) scored four times in the first four innings to take down the Salem Red Sox (24-15) 5-2 on Wednesday night at Haley Toyota Field. Following a season-high three straight losses, the Keys have claimed three in-a-row to equal their best stretch of baseball this year.
For the seventh straight game, the Keys scored the first run of the contest. In the first, Austin Hays cranked a solo homer to left off Roniel Raudes. It was the Floridian's fifth longball of the season and his second in as many nights.
In the third, the visitors extended their advantage to 3-0. Stevie Wilkerson singled and moved from first to third on a wild pitch, before an RBI groundout by Ryan Mountcastle brought in the inning's first run. Two batters later, Ademar Rifaela tripled home Shane Hoelscher . Stuart Levy got into the act in the fourth, crushing a solo homer to left off Raudes (1-2).
Making his second start of the year, Reid Love stranded the bases loaded in the fourth but allowed a pair of runs in the fifth. After retiring the first two batters of the inning, Love gave up a single to Chad De La Guerra who then scored on a double by Michael Chavis. Josh Ockimey followed with an RBI single prompting a pitching change.
The Keys turned to newcomer Francisco Jimenez , who worked around an inherited runner and a single to keep the damage at two runs. Following the fifth, Jimenez (1-0) gave up only two hits the rest of the way. Tossing 3.2 scoreless innings, the right-hander earned the win while striking out three.
Raudes took the loss, surrendering four runs on eight hits in five innings. He walked one and punched out six.
Hays and Mountcastle added back-to-back doubles in the seventh to return the Keys lead to three runs. Tanner Chleborad entered for Jimenez with one out in the ninth and retired both men he faced to earn his third save.
The Keys go for a four-game sweep of the Red Sox on Thursday night. Right-hander Cody Sedlock (4-1, 4.38) starts for Frederick and will be opposed by Salem left-hander Daniel McGrath (0-3, 7.45). First pitch is at 7:05 p.m from Haley Toyota Field and the broadcast can be heard on 1450 AM The Source and frederickkeys.com.
Frederick returns home on Friday, May 19 when the Blue Rocks make their first visit of the year. It is Family Fitness Weekend, while there will be appearances by Redskins safety Deshazor Everett on May 19 and former NBA star Muggsy Bogues on May 20. For tickets, fans call the team at 301-815-9939 or visit frederickkeys.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.