Through the first three innings, offense was sparse at Harry Grove Stadium. But back-to-back doubles to open the bottom of the fourth inning ignited the Frederick Keys' lineup, who racked up 14 hits in an 11-1 opening day drubbing of Salem.
Frederick hit five doubles and two home runs in front of 5,837 fans Friday night, the last homer a mammoth two-run blast by right fielder Brenden Webb that cleared the 28-foot high wall behind the center field fence and put Frederick ahead 10-1.
Webb, who finished 4-for-5 with a double, home run and three RBIs, was one several Keys hitters to start the 2013 season off in strong fashion. But Webb pointed to starting pitcher Devin Jones for setting the tone Friday night.
"It was good coming out the first game and playing well," said Webb. "The whole team contributed equally, you know. Jones came out and pitched well -- pitched great actually. We just got a bunch of run support for him and you know he kept the score down. It was great for the team."
After allowing a pair of singles in the first inning, Jones found his groove, retiring the next 10 batters in a row. He pitched six innings, allowed three hits, a walk and a run while striking out three and earning the victory.
"After that (first inning) he settled and stayed within himself and started moving the ball down and away and away from guys," said Keys manager Ryan Minor,a winner in his Keys debut, of Jones. "The main thing for him was he was getting ahead of hitters, throwing strike one. When you do that you have a much higher success rate."
The Keys scored four runs in the fourth and five in the sixth, adding a single run in the fifth and seventh innings. Trent Mummey hit a three-homer down the right field line in the bottom of the sixth to blow the game open before Webb punctuated the Keys' offensive outburst four batters later.
Third baseman Nicky Delmonico drove in the Keys' first run of the season with a double off the right-field wall that scored catcher Michael Ohlman, who doubled to lead off the fourth inning. An error helped the Keys plate three more runs that inning, providing Jones with some much-appreciated run support.
"It's definitely a lot easier pitching when we score so many runs," said Jones. " It's great when you have a cushion like that and you can just kind of relax and throw nice and easy."
Seven Keys tallied hits Friday, five posting multi-hit games. Mummey went 2-for-4 with a home run and four RBIs, Delmonico went 2-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI, Ohlman had two hits, one of them a double, and Jason Esposito had two hits as well.
Salem starter Mickey Pena took the loss, allowing seven hits, a walk and four runs, two earned, in four innings pitched. The Keys lit up reliever Heri Quevedo, who followed Pena and surrended seven runs and two home runs in 2.1 innings pitched.
The Keys and Red Sox resume their series Saturday at 2 p.m. Tyler Wilson will start for Frederick and Henry Owens for Salem.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.