Hillcats outmuscle Salem, 8-2

salem red soxThe Lynchburg Hillcats scored in each of the first three innings and never trailed as they beat the Salem Red Sox 8-2 on Wednesday night at Lynchburg City Stadium.

Lynchburg wasted no time jumping ahead, putting up a pair of runs in the first inning. Paul Hendrix singled and stole second base, putting himself in scoring position for Nellie Rodriguez, who cranked a double down the line. Hendrix scored and Rodriguez followed him in the next at bat when Mike Papi laced a double of his own, putting the Hillcats up 2-0.

Salem responded in the top of the second when Kevin Heller hammered a solo home run to left-center, his fourth of the season. The big drive was the Sox first hit of the game and made the score 2-1 Hillcats.

Lynchburg got one back in the bottom of the second, beginning when LeVon Washington singled to lead off the frame. With two outs and Washington on second base, Dorssys Paulino stroked a single up the middle that scored Washington for a 3-1 advantage.

In the third, Franklin Guzman singled and Carlos Coste was hit by a pitch immediately after. After Mauricio Dubon sacrificed the runners over with a bunt, Forrestt Allday bounced a grounder to short that was enough to score Guzman from third, cutting the deficit to 3-2.

The Hillcats added insurance runs in the third and the fifth before plating three in the sixth. In the third, Papi drove in Clint Frazier with a single. The fifth inning saw Frazier score on a passed ball to make it 5-2. Hendrix knocked in a run with a single in the sixth followed by Rodriguez driving in one more with a single of his own. Papi drove in his third run of the game and the third in the sixth inning, pushing the lead to 8-2.

Teddy Stankiewicz (3-10) took the loss by allowing five runs, three earned, on nine hits and three walks with five strikeouts in five innings. Mitch Brown (7-9) won his fifth straight start, striking out seven with two runs allowed on four hits and two walks in six innings. Heller paced the Salem offense, finishing 1-for-1 with the solo homer and a pair of walks.

Salem dropped to 51-53 with the loss, its fifth in a row. The Red Sox are 13-21 in the second half and sit two games below .500 for the first time since May 22. The Hillcats improved to 51-53 and 18-16 with the victory.

The series finale will take place Thursday at 6:30 p.m. Aaron Wilkerson (7-2, 2.76) takes the mound for Salem to oppose Lynchburg’s Dace Kime (2-5, 4.39). Fans can listen to the game on 1240 AM ESPN Roanoke, online at salemsox.com or via the TuneIn Radio app.


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