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Salem Red Sox blasted by Dash

salem red soxAfter the Salem Red Sox swept a doubleheader on Monday, Winston-Salem responded with a mighty offensive effort on Tuesday. Courtney Hawkins homered twice, Joey DeMichele collected four hits, the Dash scored eight in the first, and Winston easily cruised to a 12-5 triumph over the Sox in the third game of the five-game (four day) series. Sox starter Mike Augliera, who had pitched at least five innings in each of his ten prior starts this season, recorded just one out in the first inning before his day ended abruptly. He faced nine batters and allowed eight runs (seven earned) on seven hits. Winston starter Bryan Blough dealt seven strong innings to pick up the victory, improving to 3-4. He yielded two runs on six hits, with seven strikeouts and no walks.

Salem’s top offensive highlight came from catcher Blake Swihart, who blasted his first Carolina League home run to lead off the fifth inning. Swihart also doubled and walked to finish 2-for-4. Felix Sanchez, Keury De La Cruz, and Brandon Jacobs also registered multi-hit games for the Red Sox.

Hawkins led the Dash with five RBI, all coming via his pair of deep drives over the left field fence. Drafted 13th overall in last June’s draft, Hawkins now has ten Carolina League homers in just 95 at-bats on the season. DeMichele added three singles, a double, and a walk, while Mark Haddow delivered three hits too, including two doubles.

Winston led 10-0 after Haddow’s RBI double and Rangel Ravelo’s sac fly in the fourth. Swihart’s homer cut it to 10-1, and Salem made it 10-2 before the Dash added their final pair in the top of the eighth. The Sox responded with three in the last of the eighth to inch within seven.

Overall, the Red Sox bullpen permitted just two earned runs in eight and two-thirds innings, with Robby Scott tossing three and two-thirds without allowing an earned run and Nate Striz dealing three scoreless innings.

In perhaps the most amusing sequence of the night, backup infielder Nick Natoli entered to pitch in the top of the ninth. While the Dash loaded the bases with two walks and a single, Jeremy Farrell’s two-out deep fly was caught on the warning track in center, and Natoli had a scoreless inning in his first professional pitching appearance.

The Red Sox and Dash will square off again on Wednesday, with Henry Owens scheduled to pitch for Salem opposite Winston’s Myles Jaye. First pitch is slated for 7:05.

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