The Dash improved to 19-4 since July 23 and posted their third straight double-digit run output in their 12-5 victory over the Frederick Keys in the opener of a four-game set Thursday night at Harry Grove Stadium.
Winston-Salem (34-19, 78-44-1) remains just percentage points behind High-A St. Lucie, the Mets' affiliate in the Florida State League, for minor league baseball's best record. The Dash have also mustered a league-best 20 games of 10 or more runs. In its six games at Frederick, Winston is 5-1 with 59 runs scored.
The Dash took an early lead in the second inning. With the bases loaded and two away, Marcus Semien cleared the bases with a double down the left field line. On the play, Frederick shortstop Garabez Rosa committed a throwing error that allowed Semien to score to put the Dash up 4-0.
After Frederick (25-27, 52-70) plated an unearned run in the bottom of the second, Winston-Salem once again loaded the bases in the third for Daniel Wagner, who laced a three-run double of his own to push the Dash's early advantage to 7-1.
Winston mustered single tallies in the fourth and fifth innings. Dan Black clubbed a towering solo shot to left-center in the fourth frame for his 17th home run of the season. Keenyn Walker then singled home Wagner to give Winston-Salem a 9-2 advantage.
The Keys pulled within four runs in the fifth inning when Steve Bumbry hit a two-out, three-run blast against Winston-Salem starter Chris Bassitt (4-3). Bassitt earned his third victory as a starter by going five innings and allowing five runs, four of which were earned, on six hits.
Bumbry's homer was the final Frederick tally. Out of the bullpen, Matt Wickswat stranded two runners in the sixth, and Kevin Vance scattered three hits in a pair of scoreless frames. Ryan Buch finished off the Keys in the ninth with a perfect frame. This bullpen trio struck out a combined seven Keys.
The Dash added some insurance in the top of the ninth when Kevan Smith brought home a run with a single, and David Herbek immediately followed with a two-run blast to left for his fifth dinger of the season. In all, all nine Winston whackers had a hit, six drove in at least run and six scored at least once.
Winston-Salem and Frederick continue this four-game series Friday night at 7:00. Right-hander Erik Johnson (2-2, 1.67 ERA), the reigning Carolina League Pitcher of the Week, takes to the mound for the Dash against southpaw Trent Howard (3-9, 4.82 ERA). Pre-game coverage begins at 6:45 on wsdash.com.
The Dash return to BB&T Ballpark for their final homestand Friday, August 24 at 7:00 p.m. against Myrtle Beach. For tickets to this homestand or the Carolina League playoffs, which begin in early September, call the Dash at (336) 714-2287 or visit wsdash.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.