Salem, VA - For the second time in as many games, the Wilmington Blue Rocks (2-3) squandered a lead and fell to the Salem Red Sox (4-1) in the opening game of the series by the score of 6-2 Monday night at Haley Toyota Field. The Red Sox scored six
Salem, VA - For the second time in as many games, the Wilmington Blue Rocks (2-3) squandered a lead and fell to the Salem Red Sox (4-1) in the opening game of the series by the score of 6-2 Monday night at Haley Toyota Field. The Red Sox scored six unanswered runs to take the victory from Wilmington. Shortstop Angelo Castellano produced the offense for the Blue Rocks with a two-run home run while Kort Peterson had a three-hit game in the defeat.
It was a pitching battle to start the game between Blue Rocks' right-hander Arnaldo Hernandez and Salem's righty Tanner Houck as both tossed three straight shutout inning to begin the ballgame. In the top of the fourth, Peterson reached with a two-out single before Castellano launched his first homer of the season to give the Blue Rocks a 2-0 lead.
Salem scored six unanswered runs starting with a run in the bottom of the fourth inning. In the bottom of the sixth, Bobby Dalbec tied the game with a solo home run to make it 2-2. The Red Sox took the lead in the seventh with a pair of runs to make it a 4-2 deficit for Wilmington before Trenton Kemp put it out of reach with his two-run shot in the eighth to give the game the final score of 6-2.
Offensively, Wilmington had multiple chances to get back in the game. They stranded runners at second and third in the seventh before leaving the bases loaded in the eighth inning. Overall, the Blue Rocks finished 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
Hernandez had a solid debut on the mound for Wilmington and allowed just one earned run on five hits in five innings of work and did not factor in the decision.
The Blue Rocks will look to rebound on Tuesday, April 10 for the middle game of the three game series. LHP Cristian Castillo (0-0, 3.86 ERA) makes the start for the Blue Rocks while RHP Bryan Mata (0-0, -.--) makes his first start of the season. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. and fans can listen to the game as Matt Janus will have the call on 89.7 WGLS-FM.
PEBBLES OF KNOWLEDGE:
Outfielder Kort Peterson turned in a three-hit performance Monday night after going 1-for-11 through his first three games. Peterson ripped a double and a pair of singles in the losing effort. It marked the first time since May 28, 2017 when he was with Low-A Lexington that he collected three hits in a game. Last season, Peterson suffered a season-ending shoulder injury after his torrid start with the Blue Rocks. He played in just 11 games, but hit .333 (13-for-39) with three doubles, two triples and a home run.
After compiling 29 strikeouts and just one walk through the first two games, the Blue Rocks have turned the tide and are seeing the ball much better at the plate. In the last three games, Wilmington has drawn 27 walks and have struck out 29 times. On Monday, Wilmington drew nine walks which was one shy of their single-game high when the worked 10 walks at Potomac on Saturday.
The Blue Rocks have been in search of a clutch hit with runners in scoring positon through the first five games of the season. Wilmington was unable to find the elusive hit Monday and went 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position. On the season, the Blue Crew are hitting just .140 (7-for-50) in that situation.