FREDERICK, MD-Jerome Pena drove in four of the Frederick Keys six runs with a pair of home runs, while Mark Blackmar became the fourth Carolina League pitcher to double-digit wins, as the orange and black topped the Salem Red Sox 6-4 on Friday at Harry Grove Stadium. Down 4-0 after five innings, Frederick scored the final five runs of the ballgame, thanks in large part to a pair of homers by Pena, including a go-ahead three-run blast in the seventh. With four games left in the regular season the Keys are 32-36 in the second-half CL North standings, but still trail Lynchburg by a game after a Hillcats win over Carolina later in the evening.
Down 4-2 going to the bottom of the seventh, the Keys put the first two on base against Salem starter Jacob Dahlstrand. Jason Esposito worked a leadoff walk and advanced to second on a roller through the right side by Tucker Nathans. Turning to his bullpen, Sox manager Carlos Febles called on right-hander Kyle Martin. Austin Wynns successfully moved both runners up 90 feet via a sac-bunt to send up Pena, who stroked a three-run homer over the leftfield wall to put Frederick up for good.
Pena put the Keys on the board one inning prior with a homer over the right-center field wall, making him the third Frederick player in 2014 to hit two longballs in a game. Former Key Michael Burgess and Esposito were the other two players to accomplish the feat, while it was the first two home run game of Pena's career. He also tied his season-high with four RBIs.
In addition to the solo homer in the sixth, Frederick added an additional run in the frame thanks to a single by Johnny Ruettiger, a double by Adrian Marin and a groundout by Trey Mancini. The Keys closed out their scoring in the eighth on a homer by Chih-Hsien Chiang. Ending with three deep flies on the night, Frederick came up one short of its season-high.
Blackmar (10-1) earned his fourth straight win, extending the longest winning streak of his career. Tossing seven innings, the right-hander allowed four runs on nine hits to go along with two walks and four strikeouts. Winner of 10 games this season, the 22-year-old won only 11 combined games in his three professional seasons prior.
All the runs allowed by the Keys starter came in the fourth inning. Salem loaded the bases with nobody out thanks to three straight singles by Jantzen Witte, Reed Gragnani and Mario Martinez. A fielder's choice by Kendrick Perkins plated Witte, while a groundout by Leonel Escobar brought Gragnani home. One batter later, Dreily Guerrero stroked a two-run homer over the rightfield wall.
Frederick begins a four-game series with the Potomac Nationals on Saturday night at Harry Grove Stadium. Parker Bridwell (6-10, 4.51) gets the ball for the Keys and will be countered by Nationals righty Brian Rauh (2-3, 4.37). First pitch is slated for 6:00 p.m. and the broadcast can be heard on 1450 AM The Source. For tickets, fans can call 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.