Sox Capitalize on Mistakes to Even Series
The Salem Red Sox (56-53, 21-22) produced four multi-run innings alongside a splendid start by Juan Encarnacion to fend off the Delmarva Shorebirds (38-71, 17-27) and even the series with a 9-6 victory. In his second home start with Salem, second baseman and clean-up hitter Chase Meidroth went a perfect
The Salem Red Sox (56-53, 21-22) produced four multi-run innings alongside a splendid start by Juan Encarnacion to fend off the Delmarva Shorebirds (38-71, 17-27) and even the series with a 9-6 victory.
In his second home start with Salem, second baseman and clean-up hitter Chase Meidroth went a perfect 3-3 and reached safely on all five trips to the plate. Meanwhile, Eddinson Paulino also had a three-hit night and drove in two runs to bring his RBI count to an active team-best 51.
After the Red Sox pitching was rattled early in Tuesday’s defeat, Encarnacion (W, 9-4) wasted no time to get comfortable on the mound by retiring 12 of the first 14 batters he faced and allowed only one base hit in the first four innings.
Thanks to Encarnacion's ability to quiet the Shorebirds batters, Salem was able to strike first and built a solid four-run cushion with their small ball tactics.
The opening run of the contest was scored in the third inning off an Eddinson Paulino bunt, a perfectly placed ball down the first base line that was nearly impossible to stop for the Delmarva first baseman Creed Willems, which allowed Bryan Gonzalez to touch home easily. In the very next at-bat, Karson Simas scored from third on an Edurado Lopez fielder’s choice which doubled the Red Sox lead.
Later into the fourth, a Kier Meredith single brought in two runs for the Red Sox after a couple of fielding and throwing errors went against the Shorebirds. Delmarva left fielder Reed Trimble’s throw towards the plate went wide which gave Tyler Miller an easy score, after the mishap, Daniel McElveny took advantage and slid underneath the tag attempt of Delmarva pitcher Conor Grady to make it 4-0, Salem.
The Shorebirds were finally able to crack through for a couple of runs in the fifth inning thanks to a Willems’ sacrifice fly and a Trimble single to score Adam Retzbach. With the lead cut in half, the Red Sox were able to snatch back that four-run edge in the sixth inning when Simas drew a walk with the bases loaded and another Paulino RBI single to score Meredith.
Coming in to replace Encarnacion, Graham Hoffman (H, 4) tossed two shutout innings for Salem. It wasn’t easy the first time around with runners at second and third with one out, but Hoffman found a way to escape the sixth with a couple of strikeouts to then followed it up with a 1-2-3 seventh.
Going into the bottom of the eighth with a 6-3 advantage, the Red Sox built their lead up to six, their largest of the night, after another episode of small-ball at-bats. Lopez grounded another fielder’s choice to score Simas, while Meidroth recorded his first RBI of the series with a single. Even an Alejandro Mendez balk helped Salem in the scoring column as Lopez traveled an easy 90 feet to home.
With the game looking out of reach for the Shorebirds, the bottom part of their order in the ninth generated a late stir with three runs being scored before the first out was recorded by Luis Guerrero. But the Salem closer was able to rediscover his craft and picked up a pair of strikeouts to bring an end to the Shorebirds’ late hopes.
The Salem Red Sox and Delmarva Shorebirds will meet for game three of the six-game series on Thursday at 7:05 p.m. at Salem Memorial Ballpark.
First Pitch: 7:07 p.m.
Time of Game: 2:44
Venue: Carilion Clinic Field