WINSTON-SALEM, NC (Wednesday, August 29) - The Salem Red Sox got homers from Jerry Downs and Jake Romanski on Wednesday, and Kutter Crawford fired a career-long seven innings in a 10-3 win over the Winston-Salem Dash at BB&T Ballpark.
The Red Sox (30-34, 62-70) scored three runs in the second inning and never trailed, playing in their first game since being eliminated from postseason contention. The Dash (39-24, 80-53) couldn't get out of their own way, with three errors in the game contributing to Salem's offense.
The Sox opened the scoring in the top of the second against Dash starting pitcher John Parke (L, 5-4), as Michael Osinski reached on an error by Ti'Quan Forbes. A single by Victor Acosta advanced Osinski to third, and Jake Romanski bounced into a fielder's choice that retired Acosta at second, putting runners at the corners with one away. Ryan Scott singled home Osinski, and Jagger Rusconi smacked a two-out double to left-center field to give Salem a 3-0 edge.
Winston-Salem closed the gap in the bottom of the second against Crawford (W, 2-3), as the righty issued back-to-back walks with one out to Gavin Sheets and Ti'Quan Forbes. Laz Rivera bounced to second base for a 4-6 fielder's choice, leaving runners at the corners with two outs. Daniel Gonzalez singled home Sheets, and Zach Remillard doubled to plate Rivera and trim the lead to 3-2.
Salem blew it wide open in the top of the third. C.J. Chatham led off with a double, and Downs earned a walk to put runners at first and second. Osinski lined a single to left, and Luis Robert completely whiffed as he charged it; Chatham and Downs both scampered home and Osinski raced to third on the error. Romanski then pummeled a hanging slider over the wall in left for a two-run dinger. It was his first homer for Salem in 2018, and it gave Salem a 7-2 lead.
The Sox tacked on one more run in the top of the seventh against Dash reliever Connor Walsh. Leading off the inning, Downs hammered a high fly over the wall in left for a solo shot, running the lead to 8-2.
Salem added two more runs of cushion in the top of the ninth, with infielder JJ Muno pitching for the Dash. Downs earned a leadoff walk and hustled to third on a double by Osinski. Tyler Hill knocked a double down the left field line, scoring both runners and making it a 10-2 game.
The Dash earned one back in the bottom of the ninth against Sox reliever Hunter Smith. Muno slapped a double to left with one away, and he came home on an RBI single by Daniel Gonzalez to cut the lead to 10-3. Remillard singled to add to the pressure, but Smith got Luis Gonzalez to ground out before Nick Madrigal popped out to end the game.
Crawford dazzled over his career-long seven innings, allowing just two runs on four hits and three walks while whiffing six batters. Smith surrendered a run on five hits in two innings and fanning one batter.
The Sox will try to take the season series Thursday night, with righty Kevin McAvoy making the start for Salem against Winston-Salem righty Luis Martinez. First pitch from BB&T Ballpark is scheduled for 7:00 p.m., and the pregame show with Ben Gellman and Suzie Cool begins at 6:45 p.m. on the Red Sox broadcast network.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.