SALEM, VA (May 7, 2017) - The Salem Red Sox fell victim to a big early deficit Sunday afternoon, dropping an 11-7 decision to the Winston-Salem Dash despite a late rally at Haley Toyota Stadium.
The Red Sox (19-11) missed out on their fifth straight win, dropping behind by as many as nine runs in the first three innings. Winston-Salem (11-20) picked up a win to salvage the series after the Sox took both halves of the doubleheader on Saturday. Salem took the loss despite a start from rehabbing MLB pitcher Roenis Elias (L, 0-1).
The Dash opened the scoring in the top of the first against Elias, who walked Luis Alexander Basabe and Ronald Bueno to start the frame. Landon Lassiter lined a double to center, scoring Basabe and advancing Bueno to third. With two outs, Brady Conlan pounded a double to right, scoring the runners and making it 3-0 for the visitors. Winston-Salem added another in the top of the second inning, as Danny Mendick pounded an Elias fastball to left for a solo homer to make it 4-0.
Winston-Salem broke the game wide open in the top of the third against Elias, who allowed a leadoff triple by Zack Collins and an RBI single from Louis Silverio. Conlan singled Silverio to second, and Toby Thomas doubled to bring Silverio home and Conlan to third. Jake Fincher bounced to Elias, who retired Conlan at third on a 1-5-2 fielder's choice, but the runners reached second and third in the rundown. Mendick then singled to right, and both Fincher and Silverio scored when Mike Meyers bobbled the ball in right field. Basabe reached on a fielding error by Michael Chavis, and Mendick made it to second base. Bueno flew out to left, but Lassiter lined a single to right that brought Mendick in to make it 9-0 in favor of the visitors.
Salem got on the board in the bottom of the third inning against Dash starting pitcher Dane Dunning, who gave up a leadoff single to Nick Lovullo and walked Bryan Hudson to put runners at first and second. Meyers struck out on a foul tip, but Chavis put a charge into an 0-1 fastball for a three-run homer to left, trimming the lead to 9-3. Josh Ockimey singled, Trenton Kemp walked and Austin Rei reached on an error by Thomas at second base to load the bases, but Dunning fanned Jose Sermo before he was pulled for reliever Kelvis Valerio (W, 2-2), who got Jordan Betts to fly out to right to end the inning with the bases full.
Winston-Salem got a run back against reliever Dedgar Jimenez in the top of the fifth, as Fincher led off with a single and moved to second on a one-out single by Basabe. Bueno hit a bouncer to second; Sermo fielded it and stepped on the bag, but his throw to Ockimey at first was errant, allowing Fincher to score and make it 10-5 in favor of Winston-Salem.
The Sox drew closer against Valerio in the bottom of the inning, as Ockimey and Kemp each walked to start the inning. Rei flew out to left field, but Sermo crushed a double off the wall in center to score the runners and bring Salem back to a 10-5 deficit.
The ninth inning was fraught with scoring as well, as Thomas led off with a single and moved to second on a one-out walk drawn by Mendick. Jimenez got Basabe to fly out to left field, but Bueno slashed a double into the left-center field gap to score Mendick and extend Winston-Salem's edge to 11-5. In the bottom of the frame, Meyers singled to lead off against Ryan Riga, and Kemp doubled him home with two outs. Rei drew a walk, and Sermo singled Kemp home before Betts fanned to end the game.
Elias took the loss, allowing nine runs (seven earned) on ten hits and two walks while striking out one in four innings. Jimenez gave up two runs (one earned) on five hits and two walks in five innings, recording five strikeouts.
The Sox have an off day before hitting the road for a six-game away swing. They'll open up against the Buies Creek Astros on Tuesday, with righty Travis Lakins getting the start for Salem against Astros lefty Framber Valdez. First pitch at Jim Perry Stadium is set for 7:00 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.