WINSTON-SALEM, NC (June 11, 2017) - Dedgar Jimenez fired an outstanding start for his league-best eighth win, Michael Chavis hit his league-leading 16th homer, and Chad De La Guerra fell a triple short of the cycle as the Salem Red Sox routed the Winston-Salem Dash 11-1 Sunday at BB&T Ballpark.
The Sox (39-24) exploded for 14 hits in the win, with the 10-run margin of victory the largest for any Sox win in 2017. The Dash (20-43) tied the game in the bottom of the second but managed only one hit after that point, falling short of a series split against the Sox. Salem trimmed their magic number in the Northern Division race to only eight with seven games remaining before the All-Star Break, as the Lynchburg Hillcats topped the Frederick Keys 5-2 for a series sweep.
Salem opened the scoring in the top of the second against Winston-Salem starting pitcher Dane Dunning (L, 2-2). Jhon Nunez earned a one-out walk, and swiped second base to get into scoring position. Granger Studdard hit a bouncer to short that Johan Cruz booted, allowing Studdard to make it to first and Nunez to advance to third. Jeremy Rivera lifted a sacrifice fly to center, plating Nunez and putting the Sox ahead 1-0.
The Dash evened things up in the bottom of the frame against Jimenez (W, 8-1). Brady Conlan and Aaron Schnurbusch cracked consecutive singles to lead off the frame, and Danny Mendick dropped a sacrifice bunt to put runners at second and third. Daniel Gonzalez hit a bouncer to Rivera at short for a 6-3 groundout, which was good enough to score Conlan and tie the game at 1-1.
The Sox moved back in front in the top of the fifth inning. Rivera doubled with one out, and Matheny sliced an RBI single into left to score Rivera, though Matheny was tagged out in a rundown between first and second. De La Guerra then mashed a solo homer to right, extending the lead to 3-1. Salem tacked on one more in the top of the sixth inning; Mike Meyers singled with one out, moved to second on a groundout by Jose Sermo, and came in to score on a single to left by Jhon Nunez to make it a 4-1 lead for the Sox.
Salem doubled their advantage in the top of the seventh against reliever Max Beatty. Matheny drew a leadoff walk, and De La Guerra ripped a double to left, moving Matheny up to third. Chavis then smashed a three-run blast over the left-field wall to make it 7-1 in favor of the Sox.
The Sox added an exclamation point in the top of the ninth against Dash reliever Ryan Riga. Josh Ockimey led off with a double to center, and moved to third on a single by Meyers. Jose Sermo walked, loading the bases, and Nunez plated Ockimey on a sacrifice fly to center that allowed Meyers to advance to third. Studdard was hit by a pitch, loading the bases for Rivera. The Sox shortstop plated Meyers on a sacrifice fly to right, and Matheny cleared the bases with a two-run double to right to give Salem their final 11-1 lead.
Jimenez was dazzling for Salem, allowing one run on two hits and two walks over six innings while fanning four for his league-leading eighth win. Marc Brakeman fired two shutout innings of relief with four strikeouts against one hit. Trevor Kelley pitched a perfect ninth with two whiffs.
The Sox will open up a three-game set with the surging Carolina Mudcats Monday night, with southpaw Matthew Kent on the hill for Salem against Carolina righty Marcos Diplan. First pitch from 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.