SALEM (April 17, 2017) - The Salem Red Sox rode a nine-run second inning to their fourth consecutive win Monday night, pounding the Wilmington Blue Rocks 11-2 at Haley Toyota Field in Salem.
The Red Sox (7-5) kept on crushing at the plate, as they've averaged 9.5 runs per game over their winning streak. Wilmington (5-6) fell behind early on and stranded runners in each of the last four innings, squandering the few opportunities they did have. The nine-run second inning tied the record for the most runs scored by the Sox in an inning ever at Haley Toyota Field, matching the nine scored April 8, 1999 against Wilmington in the fifth inning.
Salem opened the scoring in the bottom of the second against Blue Rocks starter Foster Griffin (L, 1-1). Austin Rei led off the frame with a double up the left field line, and Mike Meyers drew a walk to put runners at first and second. Jose Sermo looped a double up the right field line, plating Rei and moving Meyers to third base. Chad De La Guerra followed with a ground-ball single to left, scoring Meyers and advancing Sermo to third base. De La Guerra moved to second on a wild pitch, and Tate Matheny singled to center. Sermo scored on the hit, and De La Guerra advanced to third base. Matheny swiped second as Bryan Hudson struck out, and the throw down from Chase Vallot was errant, which allowed De La Guerra to score. Matheny then pilfered third base before Josh Tobias hammered a two-run homer over the left field wall, making it a 6-0 lead for the Sox.
Josh Ockimey doubled and Michael Chavis drew a walk, turning the lineup over and chasing Griffin from the game. New reliever Colin Rodgers issued a walk to Rei, loading the bases. Meyers fanned, but Sermo singled home two runs and De La Guerra singled home another, with Matheny singling to load the bases before Hudson lined out to Nicky Lopez at shortstop to end the inning. When it was all said and done, the Sox had plated nine runs on nine hits in the inning, and led 9-0.
Wilmington got on the board in the top of the fifth against Sox starting pitcher Matthew Kent (W, 1-0). Anderson Miller led off the frame with a single up the middle, and came all the way around to score on a triple by Wander Franco. With one out, Roman Collins grounded out to De La Guerra at short, bringing Franco home and trimming the lead to 9-2.
Salem earned the runs back in the bottom of the seventh inning against Wilmington reliever Richard Lovelady. De La Guerra drew a leadoff walk, and Matheny singled him to second base. Hudson slashed a ball into the left-center field gap for extra bases. De La Guerra and Matheny each scored on the play, but Hudson was tagged out trying to stretch a double into a triple. Nonetheless, Salem led 11-2 on the big hit, and kept the lead through the end of the game.
Kent got the win, allowing two runs on five hits and two walks over 6.1 innings and striking out a season-best six. Mitchell Osnowitz allowed two walks but struck out three in 1.2 scoreless frames. Trevor Kelley pitched a scoreless ninth inning, with one hit against two strikeouts.
The Sox will look for a fifth straight win Tuesday night, with lefty Daniel McGrath toeing the slab for Salem against Wilmington righty Scott Blewett. First pitch at Haley Toyota Field is set for 7:05 p.m., and Ben Gellman's pregame show starts at 6:45 on the Red Sox Radio Network.
The Carolina League All-Star Game returns to Salem on Tuesday, June 20 at Haley Toyota Field. As part of a celebration of 50 years of Carolina League baseball in the Roanoke Valley, the Red Sox will host a skills competition on Monday, June 19. The skills competition will take place at historic Kiwanis Field, the original home of Carolina League baseball in Salem. All 2017 Salem Red Sox season ticket holders will have tickets to the skills competition and the All-Star Classic at Haley Toyota Field included in their ticket package.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.