FREDERICK, MD (Wednesday, August 30, 2017) - The Sox took a critical and heartbreaking loss Wednesday night, falling 2-1 in 10 innings to the Frederick Keys at Harry Grove Stadium.
The Sox (32-33, 71-62) saw their offense run ice-cold, as they mustered only five hits in the game and went 0-7 with runners in scoring position. Frederick (33-32, 64-70) edged ahead of Salem for the "wild card" spot in the Mills Cup playoffs, with only one game remaining between the teams in the series to help determine a tie-breaker. If Salem wins Thursday night's game, they'd own the tie-breaker.
Salem got the scoring going in the top of the first against Frederick starting pitcher Cristian Alvarado (ND). With two outs, Conrad Gregor turned around a fastball and sent it high over the left field wall for a solo homer. It was the second home run for Gregor in as many games, and it put Salem ahead 1-0.
Frederick drew level in the bottom of the first against Salem starter Kyle Hart (ND). With two away, Glynn Davis cracked a double to left, and Yermin Mercedes singled to left, scoring Davis and tying the game at 1-1.
The Red Sox squandered a major opportunity in the top of the fifth inning, as Tate Matheny and Chris Madera singled to start the frame before Alvarado hit Austin Rei with a pitch to load the bases. However, Nick Lovullo popped out in foul ground, Bryan Hudson struck out, and Jeremy Rivera flew out to deep right to leave the bases loaded and the score still tied at 1-1.
Both offenses ran cold from that point on in regulation. Salem didn't reach base from the seventh inning through the 10th against relievers Luis Gonzalez and Mike Burke, and Frederick stranded seven baserunners from the sixth through the ninth. Reliever Matthew Gorst allowed runners aboard in the bottom of the ninth inning, but Daniel McGrath (L, 4-9) entered with two outs and got the final out to send the game to extra innings.
In the bottom of the 10th, Davis reached against McGrath when Jordan Betts fielded a grounder to third but threw wildly over Gregor's head at first base; Davis sped to second with nobody out. Mercedes singled to put runners at the corners, and the Sox intentionally walked Jomar Reyes to load the bases and try for a force-out. Armando Araiza came up big for Frederick, ripping a single up the middle and scoring Davis to win the game for the Keys.
Hart took a no-decision, allowing a run on six hits and three walks while fanning four in seven innings. Gorst gave up two hits and two walks in 1.2 frames. McGrath took the loss, allowing an unearned run on two hits and a walk while recording one out.
The Sox will try to earn a critical win Thursday night and avoid the sweep, with lefty Matthew Kent scheduled to start for Salem against Frederick righty Ofelky Peralta. First pitch from Nymeo Field at Harry Grove Stadium is at 7:00 p.m., and Ben Gellman's pregame show starts at 6:45 p.m. on ESPN Roanoke, ESPN Blacksburg, and on the Red Sox Radio Network online.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.