Wilmington, DE- The Wilmington Blue Rocks (37-43/6-4) came out on top against the Winston-Salem Dash (48-33/7-4) on Sunday afternoon with the 4-3 victory at Frawley Stadium. Wilmington used a three-run eighth inning to pull ahead of the Dash in the victory. Blue Rocks starter Jace Vines had one of his best performances on the mound this season. The righty tossed seven full innings giving up only four hits, one run, and two walks while matching a career-high with seven strikeouts.
Wilmington staged a late rally in the bottom of the eighth inning. After a pair of one out walks, D.J. Burt laced an RBI single to right to score Angelo Castellano and tie the game at 2-2. Gabriel Cancel helped the Rocks take back the lead with a sacrifice fly to straight-away center to bring Blake Perkins home and put Wilmington ahead with a 3-2 lead. Travis Jones cushioned the lead with a bloop single that just hopped over the head of Dash third baseman Yeyson Yrizarri at third. Burt hustled home to score to extend the lead to 4-2.
The Rocks started the scoring in the bottom of the third. Oliver Nunez began the inning with an infield single and advanced to second on the throw that was airmailed by Yrizarri. He would be stranded by the following two batters, but Burt sliced a double down the left field line to score Nunez and put the Rocks on top 1-0.
The Dash would respond immediately in the top of the fourth. A one-out walk to Micker Adolfo and a Gavin Sheets single put runners on the corners for Yrizarri. He hit into a fielder's choice that scored Adolfo from third to tie the game at 1-1. Winston-Salem took its first lead of the game in the top of the eighth. Luis Gonzalez hit a lead-off double to left and then moved to third on a sacrifice bunt. Blake Rutherford then tapped a soft grounder to third that was just slow enough to score Gonzalez and force the throw to first for the out but the Dash made it a 2-1 ballgame.
Winston-Salem would not go down without a fight. A double play moved Gavin Sheets to third where he would come home on a Nate Nolan RBI single through the gap in left to make it a 4-3 game. Wilmington closer Julio Pinto shook off the late tally to earn his fourth save in as many attempts to seal the 4-3 win.
The Blue Rocks will look to take the upper hand in the four-game set against Winston-Salem on Monday, July 2 with a 6:35 p.m. start time. Right-hander Ofreidy Gomez (2-6, 4.29 ERA) takes the mound for Wilmington. The Dash will send southpaw John Parke (0-1, 4.50 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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Jace Vines continued his success against the Dash this season after turning in a dominant start Sunday afternoon. Vines allowed just an earned run on four hits, walked two and tied a career-high with seven strikeouts in seven innings of work. It marked the fourth time Vines tossed seven innings in a start this season, which is the most by any Blue Rocks starter this year. In three appearances against the Dash, included two starts, Vines is 1-0 with a sterling 1.62 ERA in 16.2 innings of work.
D.J. Burt continues to scorch the baseball during the homestand. The utility player reached base in all four plate appearances and finished the day 3-for-3 with a double, two RBI and a walk and also stole two bases. During the homestand, Burt is hitting a robust .647 (11-for-17) with four extra-base hits, seven walks and four stolen bases.
The Rocks used a three-run eighth inning to retake the lead after Winston-Salem went out in front in the top of the inning. The come-from-behind victory marked the 20th time this season the Rocks have earned a come-from-behind win. The Blue Rocks also used a rally in the eighth inning in the homestand opener against Lynchburg on June 25.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.