LILLINGTON, NC (Saturday, April 14) - The Salem Red Sox never got clicking on offense Saturday, as they were baffled by Buies Creek pitchers all game long in a 5-0 loss at Jim Perry Stadium in Lillington.
The Sox (7-3) only notched one hit in the game, a fifth-inning double up the left field line by Trenton Kemp, and went 0-4 with runners in scoring position. Buies Creek (5-5) turned two double plays in support of starter Brett Adcock and relievers Jesus Balaguer (W, 1-0) and Justin Ferrell. Salem drew six walks in the contest but never got anybody to cross the plate.
Buies Creek opened the scoring in the bottom of the second against Salem starter Tanner Houck (L, 0-1), who walked Chas McCormick with one out. On a 3-2 count, Troy Sieber hammered a Houck fastball over the left field wall for a homer. The dinger was the first of the season for Sieber and the second allowed by Houck in 2018, and it gave Buies Creek a 2-0 lead. The Astros extended their lead in the bottom of the fifth on another big fly, as Abraham Toro yanked a homer to right-center to make it 3-0 in favor of the hosts.
The Astros got some insurance in the bottom of the eighth, as new reliever Joan Martinez gave up a leadoff double to Toro on a hot grounder up the first base line. With two outs, a wild pitch sent Toro to third, and McCormick worked a walk to put runners at the corners. Sieber hit a sinking line drive that center fielder Chris Madera dove for but couldn't quite catch; the ball skidded away and Sieber wound up at second with a two-run double to give the Astros their final 5-0 lead.
Houck surrendered three runs on three hits and five walks over five innings, fanning three and taking the loss. Matthew Gorst tossed two shutout frames of relief with one strikeout against two hits. Martinez gave up two runs on two hits and a walk in his lone inning of work, whiffing two.
The Sox will try to salvage a series split in a matinee game Sunday. Right-handed hurler Bryan Mata takes the ball for Salem against Astros righty Corbin Martin. First pitch from Jim Perry Stadium is at 2:00 p.m., and the pregame show with Ben Gellman begins at 1:45 p.m. on the Red Sox radio network.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.