WILMINGTON, DE (June 16, 2017) - The Salem Red Sox were stifled offensively for the second consecutive evening on Friday, mustering only two hits as they suffered a 7-0 shutout loss at the hands of the Wilmington Blue Rocks at Frawley Stadium in Wilmington.
The Sox (40-27) lost their third straight game at a critical time, and their Northern Division lead dwindled to just one game against the Lynchburg Hillcats after the Hillcats topped the Frederick Keys 5-1. The Blue Rocks (37-31) earned their third straight shutout victory and secured at least a split of the four-game series. Salem's last 15 hitters went down in order, and the Sox never advanced past second base.
Wilmington opened the scoring in the bottom of the second against Salem starting pitcher Mike Shawaryn (L,0-2), who set down the first two batters in the frame before surrendering a two-out single to Kurt Peterson. Wander Franco then laced a grounder past the dive of Michael Chavis at third for an RBI double, scoring Peterson. Travis Maezes hit a sharp grounder to first base that Josh Ockimey stopped with a dive, but his throw to Shawaryn was wild, allowing Maezes to beat out the play for an infield single while Franco zipped home to score and make it a 2-0 lead for Wilmington.
The Blue Rocks exploded their lead in the bottom of the third. Anderson Miller led off with a triple to left-center before Chris DeVito singled to plate him. With one out, Roman Collins hammered a double to right, putting runners at second and third. A wild pitch by Shawaryn scored DeVito and moved Collins to third base, and Peterson drew a walk to put runners at the corners. Franco singled to right, scoring Collins, and moved to second as Tate Matheny's throw came to third a hair too late to catch Peterson. Maezes drew a walk, loading the bases, and Salem manager Joe Oliver made the move to the bullpen, yanking Shawaryn for reliever Jordan Weems. The righty came through, getting Nicky Lopez to bounce into an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play. The damage was already done, though, and Wilmington assumed a 5-0 lead.
The Blue Rocks tacked on another in the bottom of the fourth, as D.J. Burt led off the frame with a single, swiped second base, and came in on a double by Miller to extend the lead to 6-0. A solo homer by Peterson to lead off the fifth made it 7-0. From there, Wilmington's pitching staff did the rest of the work, as Scott Blewett (W, 4-5) and Matt Tenuta (S, 1) combined to silence Salem's bats.
Shawaryn was rocked for five runs on nine hits and two walks in 2.1 innings pitched. Weems surrendered two runs on three hits and a walk in 3.2 innings, whiffing one. Adam Lau fanned two against one walk in two scoreless innings of relief.
The Sox will try to right the ship Saturday night, with All-Star southpaw Dedgar Jimenez on the hill for Salem against Wilmington righty Andres Machado. First pitch from Frawley Stadium 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.