KINSTON, NC (April 14, 2017) - The Salem Red Sox weathered a 51-minute rain delay and 17 strikeouts on offense on Friday night to top the Down East Wood Ducks 7-1 at Grainger Stadium in Kinston.
Salem (4-5) took a three-run advantage before the rain delay and poured on the offense after play resumed, getting a terrific effort from three relievers to make the lead stand up. The Wood Ducks (6-3) went 1-10 with runners in scoring position, and had a runner picked off first base by the catcher for the second straight night. The 17 strikeouts by Sox hitters matched the team record for most whiffs in a nine-inning game in the Red Sox era.
The Sox earned the lead first in the top of the second against Down East starter Jeffrey Springs. With one out, Tate Matheny knocked a broken bat single in his first at-bat since being activated from the disabled list earlier in the day, and Austin Rei pummeled a fastball over the left field fence for a two-run blast. Chad De La Guerra then singled through the right side, and Jordan Betts followed him with a bloop single to left field, putting runners at first and second. Deiner Lopez was tagged out on a swinging bunt in front of the plate, but the runners advanced to second and third, and Bryan Hudson singled De La Guerra home to put Salem ahead 3-0.
After the rain delay stopped the game after the third inning, the Sox added on in the top of the seventh inning against Down East reliever Jacob Shortslef. De La Guerra drew a leadoff walk, and Betts hammered a double to left to score him, making it 4-0. Betts was retired on a fielder's choice that left Lopez at first, but Lopez swiped second, and advanced to third on a single by Hudson. Josh Tobias then sliced a double up the right field line to score Lopez, and Mike Meyers cracked a single to right that scored both runners and gave Salem the 7-0 edge.
Down East got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the eighth against Sox reliever Mitchell Osnowitz. Leadoff man Luis La O drew a walk and advanced to third on a single by Ledarious Clark, who advanced to second on the throw. Luis Mendez bounced out to Osnowitz, but Michael O'Neill hit a high chopper that he beat out for an infield single, with La O scoring on the play. Trevor Kelley came in, and after walking Josh Altmann to load the bases, he fanned Jairo Beras and got Josh Morgan to ground out to first to end the inning, keeping the Sox in front 7-1, where they'd stay.
Roniel Raudes had a fine start before the rain delay, allowing just one hit and one walk while whiffing three over three innings. Austin Glorius (W, 1-0) fanned five over three innings against two hits and a walk, earning the win. Osnowitz allowed a run on three hits and a walk over 1.1 innings, recording one strikeout. Kelley gave up just a hit and a walk over 1.2 frames, striking out two.
The Sox will look for another win Saturday night, with southpaw Dedgar Jimenez taking the bump for Salem against Wood Ducks lefty Wes Benjamin. First pitch at Grainger Stadium is set for 6:00 p.m., and Ben Gellman's pregame show starts at 5:45 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.