WINSTON-SALEM, NC (Wednesday, August 3, 2017) - The Salem Red Sox fell victim to a big fifth inning and never recovered Wednesday, dropping a 9-2 decision to the Winston-Salem Dash at BB&T Ballpark.
The Sox (22-18, 62-47) continued to struggle through a power outage, with only one extra-base hit among their five knocks on the day. Winston-Salem (19-20, 43-66) celebrated their first sweep of Salem since they pulled it off at home August 5-7, 2015. Matt Rose starred for the Dash, hitting two doubles and a homer on his 23rd birthday.
The Dash drew first blood in the bottom of the second inning against Salem starter Durin O'Linger (L, 0-1), who allowed consecutive doubles to Rose and Brandon Dulin to make it a 1-0 game. But Salem was able to tie the game in the top of the third against Dash starting pitcher Zach Thompson, who gave up a leadoff double to Jhon Nunez before Nick Lovullo reached on an infield single. A sacrifice bunt by Bryan Hudson moved the runners to second and third, and Chris Madera hit a slow grounder to short for the second out, scoring Nunez and tying the game at 1-1.
Salem took the lead in the top of the fourth, as Thompson walked Austin Rei with one out. Jose Sermo hit a bouncer to second that Bryant Flete whiffed on; Sermo reached first and Rei sped to third base on the miscue. Jordan Betts then hit a sacrifice fly to center to score Rei and put Salem ahead 2-1. The Dash drew level in the bottom of the frame, though; Rose doubled before Dulin singled him home to make it a 2-2 game.
Winston-Salem blew the game open in the bottom of the fifth inning. After a leadoff lineout by Joel Booker, Flete singled and Zack Collins drew a walk. Eloy Jimenez flew out to center, advancing Flete to third base. Rose kept his big day going, hammering a three-run homer to left. Not to be outdone, Dulin hit a solo blast to right field. Seby Zavala doubled before scoring on a single by Jameson Fisher. Reliever Pat Goetze came on, and was welcomed by Yeyson Yrizarri, who singled to put runners at first and second. However, a call of batter's interference retired Joel Booker to end the inning with Winston-Salem ahead 7-2.
The Dash extended their lead in the bottom of the sixth. Flete drew a leadoff walk from Goetze and came around to score on a double by Collins. Jimenez and Rose each flew out to left, but Dulin worked a walk, and Zavala doubled to right, scoring Collins to make it a 9-2 game. The Sox didn't threaten from that point on, getting only two baserunners in the final three innings, and they had only two hits against relievers Mick VanVossen (W, 1-0) and Matt Foster.
O'Linger took the loss, surrendering seven runs on 11 hits and a walk in 4.2 innings while whiffing two. Goetze gave up two runs on three hits and two walks in 2.1 innings. Marc Brakeman walked one and struck out two in a scoreless inning of action.
The Sox open a four-game series at the Myrtle Beach Pelicans Thursday, with righty Roniel Raudes toeing the slab for Salem against Myrtle Beach righty Duncan Robinson. First pitch from TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans 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.