SALEM, VA - For a second straight night, the Keys surrendered 13 runs in a defeat. Unlike Tuesday night in Winston-Salem, the Keys plated nine runs but ultimately fell in the series opener to Salem. The Red Sox buried Frederick in the fourth inning scoring seven runs in the frame. Jason Esposito belted his third home run of the season on the night and Allan de San Miguel added three RBI in the losing effort.
Salem jumped out to a two-run lead in the bottom of the second inning against Zach Clark. Stefan Welch and Blake Swihart both singled to lead off the inning and Mookie Betts reached on an error to load the bases. In his first game with the Red Sox in 2013, David Chester drove home the game's first run with a sac fly to left field. Matty Johnson brought in the second run on a fielder's choice. Zach Clark struck out Deven Marrero to end the inning as the Red Sox stranded the bases loaded.
The Red Sox plated another run in the third but the Keys' bats came to life in the fourth inning. Salem starter, William Cuevas, retired the first 11 batters he faced on the night. Michael Ohlman ended that streak with a two-out double to left field. Aaron Baker lined a double to right field to the put the Keys on the board. Allan de San Miguel followed up Baker with a RBI single to center field. Jason Esposito capped off the big inning with a two-run home run to left field. Esposito's third home run of the season but Frederick in front, 4-3.
The Keys' lead was short lived as the Red Sox countered with seven runs in the bottom of the fourth. Stefan Welch's RBI double off of Zach Clark brought home Salem's sixth run of the inning and ended Clark's night. Blake Swihart finished off the inning with a RBI double off LHP Zach Fowler.
In his third start as a knuckleballer with the Keys, Clark allowed 10 runs, eight earned, on eight hits over three innings of work.
Salem tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to extend their lead to nine runs.
Despite being down by nine runs, the Keys put together a rally in the eighth inning. With the bases loaded and one out in the inning, Michael Ohlman singled home a run. Following an Aaron Baker strike out, Allan de San Miguel hit a two-out, two-run double. Jason Esposito drove home two more runs on a double to right field. The Keys unfortunately would fail to score any more runs on the night as Matty Ott closed out the game with a perfect ninth inning.
Salem starter William Cuevas (6-6) picked up the win as he tossed a career-high 7.1 innings on the night and struck out a career-high 10 batters. Cuevas allowed six runs on five hits.
The Keys will look to bounce back on Thursday night as LHP Trent Howard (3-0, 1.91) takes the hill for Frederick. Salem will counter with RHP Heri Quevedo (4-3, 4.77). First pitch from Lewis Gale Field at Salem Memorial Ballpark is set for 7:05 p.m. Coverage on 1450 AM The Source will begin at 6:30 p.m. with the Frederick Gorilla Pregame Show.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.