SALEM, VA (May 17, 2017) - The Salem Red Sox again dug themselves an early hole and couldn't come back, losing Wednesday night's game 5-2 to the visiting Frederick Keys at Haley Toyota Field in Salem.
The Red Sox (24-15) lost three straight for the first time in the 2017 season, and will have to win tomorrow to avoid a four-game sweep. Frederick (21-18) never trailed in the game, and held the Sox to just 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position. The Keys drew within three games of the Red Sox atop the Northern Division standings.
Frederick started the scoring in the top of the first, as Austin Hays belted a Roniel Raudes (L, 1-2) fastball over the left field wall for a solo dinger, his third bomb of the year and second in as many nights. The homer made it 1-0 Frederick. The Keys added two more in the third inning, as Stevie Wilkerson scored on a one-out groundout by Ryan Mountcastle, and Ademar Rifaela plated Shane Hoelscher on a two-out triple to run Frederick's lead to 3-0. The Keys pushed another across on a Stuart Levy homer leading off the fourth inning, advancing the lead to 4-0.
Salem got on the board in the bottom of the fifth against Frederick starter Reid Love. Chad De La Guerra cracked a one-out single, and Michael Chavis ripped a hard ground ball into the left field corner to score him. Josh Ockimey then singled, bringing Chavis home and trimming Frederick's lead to 4-2. Love was yanked for relief pitcher Francisco Jimenez (W, 1-0), who allowed a single to Trenton Kemp but got Mike Meyers to fly out to end the inning.
The Keys got one run back in the top of the seventh, as Hays doubled to lead off against reliever Austin Glorius before Mountcastle notched a double to bring him home and run the lead back to 5-2. Salem got a runner on second leading off the ninth inning, but reliever Tanner Chleborad (S, 3) came in to close out the game and preserve the win for Frederick.
Raudes gave up four runs on eight hits and one walk in five innings pitched, notching four strikeouts. Glorius surrendered one run on three hits and two walks in three innings of action, striking out one. Adam Lau gave up one hit in a scoreless inning of relief.
The Sox will try to avoid the four-game sweep Thursday night, with lefty Daniel McGrath making the start for Salem against Keys righty Cristian Alvarado. First pitch at 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.