The Wilmington Blue Rocks (37-44/6-5) fell to the Winston-Salem Dash (49-33/8-4) on Monday night at Frawley Stadium by a score of 5-2. A two-run top of the fourth put the Dash out in front before two homeruns put the game out of reach. Blake Perkins led the offense going 2-for-4 with two singles, a walk, a run, and a stolen base.
The Rocks jumped out to an early lead in the bottom of the third. After a leadoff single by Perkins and a follow up single by Rudy Martin, D.J. Burt smacked a line-drive to the left field wall that was inches away from being a three-run home run, but instead bounced off the top of the wall for a single. With the bases loaded, Meibrys Viloria was hit by a pitch to give the Rocks the 1-0 lead.
Winston-Salem came up with an immediate response in the top of the fourth. Blake Rutherford reached on a single before Micker Adolfo roped a double to put runners on second and third with one out. After a Gavin Sheets strikeout, Yermin Mercedes reached second on a throwing error by Rocks third baseman Travis Jones . The error allowed Adolfo and Rutherford to score and put the Dash on top 2-1. Winston-Salem bought some insurance runs via the longball. Laz Rivera hit his second homerun of the season with a solo shot in top of the sixth to extend the lead to 3-1. Yeyson Yrizarri slugged his fifth of the year for a two-run shot to give the Dash a comfortable 5-1 advantage.
Wilmington tried to start a late rally in the bottom of the eighth. After two consecutive wild pitches moved Chris DeVito to second and then third, Perkins drew a walk to put runners on the corners. Martin lined a single to right to score DeVito and cut the lead down to 5-2. Burt tried to keep the rally going but struck out leaving runners stranded on first and second. The Rocks went down quietly in the bottom of the ninth to end the game 5-2.
The Blue Rocks will look to split the series in the homestand finale against Winston-Salem on Tuesday, July 3 with a 6:35 p.m. start time. Right-hander Gerson Garabito (3-6, 4.05 ERA) takes the mound for Wilmington. The Dash will have fellow righty Luis Martinez (5-4, 4.12 ERA). Fans can also tune into the game with Matt Janus and Cory Nidoh on the call on 89.7 WGLS-FM.
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The Blue Rocks scored another run on a bases loaded hit by pitch when Meibrys Viloria was at the plate. It marked the 20th time this season Wilmington has scored a run with either a bases loaded walk or hit by pitch this season. The Rocks scored two runs in the same fashion on Thursday against Lynchburg when Chase Vallot was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and Gabriel Cancel worked a free pass to drive a run in.
Righty Ofreidy Gomez turned in a quality start despite suffering the loss. He worked six innings, allowed three runs, but just one earned, on three hits, walked one and struck out five. Gomez continued the trend of strong starting pitching during the homestand. With Gomez's performance, the starting staff for Wilmington has allowed just 11 earned runs in 48.2 innings of work for a 2.03 ERA during the eight games of the homestand.
D.J. Burt continues his torrid pace at the plate over the homestand. The 22-year-old singled and walked on Monday night and has reached base 19 times through that span. Overall, he is hitting a robust .440 (11-for-25) with six runs scored, two doubles, two triples, three RBI, eight walks and he has stolen four bases. Burt entered the game second in the Carolina League with an on-base percentage of .404.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.