FredNats edged by Red Sox on festive Fourth

Fredericksburg NationalsThe Fredericksburg Nationals put on a good show for their first Fourth of July celebration, but came up short in a 4-3 loss to the Salem Red Sox on Sunday afternoon.

A record 4,909 fans packed FredNats Ballpark for the 24th sellout in the season’s first 30 home games. With the win, the Red Sox secured a series victory in the six-game set.

The two teams traded zeroes through the first three innings before Gilberto Jiménez started the fourth with Salem’s first hit and scored on an RBI single from Stephen Scott. Ricardo Méndez quickly tied the game 1-1 in the bottom half of the inning with his second home run in the past three games.

In the fifth, Fredericksburg starter Carlos Romero (L, 0-2) loaded the bases with one out before giving way to Bryan Peña. Matthew Lugo greeted the lefty with a go-ahead RBI single, and Jiménez followed with a sacrifice fly to put the Red Sox up 3-1.

Scott doubled and scored in the sixth to extend the Salem advantage to 4-1, but the FredNats weren’t done. Geraldi Diaz led off the sixth with a double and scored on a Méndez sacrifice fly to the warning track in right, and Kevin Strohschein doubled home a run in the seventh off Robert Kwiatkowski (W, 6-0) to bring the score to 4-3.

Cody Scroggins (S, 6) earned the six-out save for Salem, benefitting from a peculiar ground rule at FredNats Ballpark. Jake Randa hit a one-out double in the bottom of the ninth, just missing a game-tying home run when his high fly bounced off the protective netting atop the video board in left-center and remained in play. Randa was left at second as Matthew Lugo made a lunging catch of a Strohschein pop-up to end the game.

The FredNats continue their homestand on Tuesday as they welcome the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers to town for a six-game series. First pitch from FredNats Ballpark is scheduled for 7:05, with FredNats On Deck beginning at 6:50 on the FredNats Baseball Network.

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