SALEM, VA (Wednesday, August 9, 2017) - The Salem Red Sox came up just short of their third straight win Wednesday night, dropping a 3-2 decision to the Buies Creek Astros at Haley Toyota Field.
The Sox (25-21, 65-50) fell by a single run just one night after nipping the visitors 2-1, and went 2-10 with runners in scoring position. The Astros (30-15, 67-48) became the first team to win 30 games in the second half. The Sox are still 6-2 on the season against the Astros, who own the league's best record since the All-Star break. Since July 27, Salem have batted .343 with runners in scoring position in their six wins, but just .160 in their seven losses.
Buies Creek drew first blood in the top of the second against Salem starter Roniel Raudes (ND). Randy Cesar rapped a one-out double to left, and came in to score on a single to left by Anthony Hermelyn to make it 1-0 in favor of the Astros.
The Sox drew even in the bottom of the third against Buies Creek starting pitcher Forrest Whitley (ND). Chris Madera knocked a one-out single, and moved to second on a wild pitch by Whitley. Jeremy Rivera struck out, but Conrad Gregor worked a walk, and Jose Sermo lined a single to left, scoring Rivera to tie the ballgame at 1-1.
The teams traded solo homers in the fourth inning, as Jake Rogers sent the first pitch of the inning over the left field wall for a solo shot to make it 2-1 for the Astros. However, Jordan Betts returned the favor in the bottom of the inning, smacking a leadoff bomb to left to tie the ballgame at 2-2.
Buies Creek broke ahead in the top of the ninth against Salem reliever Matthew Gorst (L, 0-1), who gave up a leadoff double to Taylor Jones. Cesar grounded out to second, moving Jones to third, and Hermelyn sliced an RBI single past the drawn-in infielders to plate Jones for the go-ahead run. Astros relief arm Elieser Hernandez (W, 4-3) set down the side in order in the ninth to lock down the win.
Raudes gave up two runs on six hits and two walks in five innings, fanning five. Austin Glorius allowed only one walk in three shutout frames. Gorst surrendered the winning run in one inning of work on three hits, recording one strikeout.
The Sox will look to take the rubber match Thursday, with southpaw Matthew Kent due to make the start for the Sox against Astros lefty Cionel Perez. First pitch from Haley Toyota Field at Salem Memorial Ballpark is at 7:05 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.