Wilmington, DE- On a night where hits were hard to come by the Salem Red Sox got the one that mattered most in a 3-1 victory over the Wilmington Blue Rocks Wednesday at Frawley Stadium. Marcus Wilson slugged a two-run homer in the top of the seventh inning which turned out to be the difference. The loss was Wilmington's fourth straight, the team's longest skid since mid-April.
Early on it was a pitchers' duel between Blue Crew starter Jonathan Bowlan and Salem hurler Daniel Gonzalez.
Bowlan (3-1) was greeted rather rudely, allowing a lead-off double to Keith Curcio on the game's very first pitch. He would come home one batter later on a sacrifice fly by Ryan Fitzgerald. He would yield just one hit over the next five frames, but in the seventh an inning-opening single by Fitzgerald was followed by Wilson's dinger. He bounced back to retire his final three batters of the night finishing his outing with seven strikeouts and only one walk.
Gonzalez was even better. The righty posted six straight goose eggs to start his night. In the seventh the Rocks finally got strung together a rally. MJ Melendez led off the frame with a single, stole second and came home on Cristian Perez 's RBI-single to center. That ended the night for Gonzalez (4-6), who finished with four strikeouts and one walk en route to the win.
Zach Schellenger retired the next seven batters before issuing a two-out walk in the bottom of the ninth. With the tying run at the plate Salem inserted Andrew Schwaab, who got Rudy Martin to ground out for his fifth save.
The Rocks continue their seven-game, six-day homestand on Thursday against Salem. The teams will play a doubleheader, with first pitch of the opener slated for 6:35 p.m. Tickets are available at BlueRocks.com and fans who don't make it to the ballpark can catch all of the action with the Voice of the Blue Rocks, Cory Nidoh, on 89.7 WGLS-FM.
PEBBLES OF KNOWLEDGE:
The Blue Crew are in the midst of one of the strangest stretches they've encountered on a schedule in recent memory. Wilmington is playing back-to-back home-and-homes. The Rocks hosted Potomac for three and visited Potomac for a three-game series. They were supposed to play three at Salem before Mother Nature intervened on Sunday. A suspended game combined with a scheduled day-night doubleheader on Monday forced one of the games to be moved to Wilmington. Fortunately for the schedule-makers the wait won't be long as the Rocks welcome the Red Sox to Frawley Stadium for what is now a four-game series. Wilmington is 3-5 during this stretch of 12 games versus two teams.
Four continues to be the magic number for the Blue Rocks this season. Wilmington is 33-5 when scoring four-or-more times in a game, but just 20-31 when registering three or fewer tallies in a contest.
The Blue Rocks are in the midst of their second-longest losing streak of the season. Wednesday marked their fourth consecutive defeat. The only longer slide this season came April 20-24 when Wilmington dropped six straight. Since then the Blue Crew had lost three in a row only twice.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.