FredNats swept in doubleheader

Fredericksburg NationalsIn their first games since Sunday, the Fredericksburg Nationals lost both games of a doubleheader to the Salem Red Sox on Thursday night.

A blowout 13-1 loss in game one was followed by a heartbreaking 7-6 walk-off loss in the nightcap, as the Red Sox came back from five different Fredericksburg leads to spoil a four-hit game from Jeremy De La Rosa.

In game one, Jackson Rutledge (L, 1-2) got only four outs as the Red Sox exploded for a seven-run second inning. Six of those runs were charged to Rutledge, though only four were earned in the 2019 first rounder’s return from the injured list. Matthew Lugo’s two-run double and Angel Maita’s RBI single highlighted the Salem attack, but they needed only four hits in the inning to do damage.

Red Sox starter Shane Drohan (W, 6-3) struck out nine batters over 5.0 innings, allowing his lone run in the fifth on back-to-back doubles from Jaden Fein and José Sánchez. The Red Sox piled on more runs in the middle innings on a Lugo homer and Ceddanne Rafaela triple, coasting to a 13-1 win.

In game two, the Red Sox were able to answer every Fredericksburg advantage with a game-tying rally of their own, finally taking their first lead in the bottom of the seventh on a walk-off RBI single from Jonathan Diaz.

FredNats starter Rodney Theophile lasted 4.0 innings, allowing three runs on five hits. Jacob Young’s first professional RBI gave the FredNats a quick 1-0 lead in the first, though Salem was able to answer right back on a Nick Decker single in the bottom half of the inning.

A 3-1 lead thanks to a De La Rosa RBI double and Juan Paulino RBI single saw a similar fate, as the Red Sox tied the game 3-3 in the fourth on a Nicholas Northcut double and Diaz run-scoring double play.

The FredNats took a 4-3 lead in the fifth on Paulino’s third hit of the night, but once again the Red Sox leveled the score against Lucas Knowles in the bottom half of the inning on a Lugo sacrifice fly.

De La Rosa had go-ahead hits in each of the final two innings, homering to lead off the sixth and blasting an RBI double with two outs in the seventh against Devon Roedahl (W, 6-2) for his fourth hit of the night. Each time, the FredNats let Salem right back into the game. Rafaela hit a game-tying double off Knowles in the sixth, and the Red Sox loaded the bases with no outs against Cole Quintanilla (L, 0-1) in the seventh before tying the game 6-6 on a sacrifice fly from Northcut and walking it off on a Diaz single down the third base line.

The FredNats will continue their series against the Red Sox on Friday night. First pitch from Haley Toyota Field in Salem is scheduled for 7:05, with FredNats On Deck beginning at 6:50 on the FredNats Baseball Network.

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