Blue Rocks handle Sox
Two tough innings plagued starter Ryan Pressly and guided the visiting Blue Rocks to a 7-3 victory in the opening game of a four-game set at LewisGale on Monday night. Wilmington plated three in the second and three more in the fourth against
Pressly, who yielded twice as many earned runs as his previous season-high and got tagged with his second straight loss to the Rocks. The Salem pen permitted just one unearned run in the final five and a third innings on the mound, but Salem went 2-11 with runners in scoring position and left nine runners on base, losing for the fourth straight game and for the seventh time in the last eight games following the 20-7 start.
The brightest star in Salem’s lineup was newcomer Mark Wagner, the minor league veteran who went 2-2 with a solo homer and a pair of walks in his 2011 debut. With Wagner’s help, the leadoff man reached in each of the first four innings, but Salem scored just a pair in the fourth and once more in the seventh. The Sox offense mustered 10 hits, but twice grounded into inning-ending double plays. Zach Gentile went 3-4 with an RBI for Salem, while Michael Almanzar also delivered multiple hits, finishing 2-4 with a run scored.
Pressly retired the first four batters of the ballgame, but five straight men reached with one out in the second inning for the Blue Rocks, leading to three runs. Wilmington’s nine-hitter, Deivy Batista, pounded a pivotal two-run double that made in 3-0. Two frames later, the Rocks added three more on four singles and three walks. Pressly left with the bases loaded and two outs, and Latimer induced a ground-out from Alex McClure to strand the inherited runners.
Blue Rock third-baseman Juan Graterol, who was just 5-for-39 on the season entering Monday’s action, went 3-for-5 to lead the Blue Rocks offense. Second-baseman Rey Navarro added two singles and an RBI.
Wilmington starter Noel Arguelles minimized the damage through four innings, stranding five runners to contribute a productive outing. Piggybacker Michael Mariot took over the fifth and went the distance, tossing five strong innings to pick up his fourth win of the season without a loss. Mariot allowed one run on three hits, with four strikeouts and two walks.
Pressly fell to 3-2, surrendering six runs on nine hits over three and two-thirds. Will Latimer tossed three and a third excellent innings out of the pen without allowing a run, while Anatanaer Batista lowered his ERA to 0.81, giving up one unearned run in two otherwise solid innings.
Salem and Wilmington will reunite on Tuesday at LewisGale Field, with Chris Hernandez set to duel with Elisaul Pimentel. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05.