Keys prevail over Salem 9-8 in 10 innings

salem red soxJerome Pena laced a line drive toward the left field corner, and when it landed fair, the Keys stormed to the field to celebrate. The bullet was belted with Keys at the corners and one out in the last of the 10th, the culmination of a labyrinthine back-and-forth evening that saw Frederick ultimately surpass Salem 9-8 in the first extra. Pena’s game-winning knock—his third hit of the night to go along with two walks—drove in Sammie Starr from third, handing the Red Sox their seventh walk-off setback of the 2013 season.

Salem let a pair of multi-run leads slip away on Friday night, one early and one late. The Sox teed off on Frederick’s erratic knuckleballer Zach Clark for four runs in the first inning, but the Keys quickly retaliated with two tallies against William Cuevas in the last of the first. Two innings later, Frederick generated a four-run frame of its own to surge in front 6-4, chasing Cuevas from the game after facing just 14 batters.

In the top of the fourth, the Sox battled for two more against Clark, evening the score at six. Both bullpens stabilized and the offenses cooled in the fifth and sixth, but Keury De La Cruz belted a leadoff homer in the seventh to surge the Sox back in front 7-6. Later in that inning, Cody Koback tripled to drive in Mookie Betts and make it 8-6.

But Frederick’s Allan de San Miguel launched a solo homer with two outs in the seventh to inch within one. In the last of the eighth, Pena’s RBI grounder scored Starr from third—a precursor of things to come—to tie the game at eight.

Salem’s Stefan Welch led off the ninth with a single, and with one out, Betts drove a liner toward the gap in right-center. A gapper likely gives Salem a lead, but Keys center fielder Glynn Davis made a tremendous diving catch, transforming it into an inning-ending double play since Welch was off on the pitch.

Rivera held the Keys at bay in the ninth, but came undone in the tenth. After Starr’s one-out single, Davis successful hit-and-run ground ball glided through the vacated right side of the diamond, sending Starr to third. Pena proceeded to hammer the winning hit into the left-field corner, easily surpassing the brought-in infielders and outfielders.

Pena and Davis each finished with three hits for the Keys, while De La Cruz contributed three hits for the Red Sox. De La Cruz, Welch, and Coback all drove in two runs apiece for Salem, but the offense fell just short.

The game took three hours and 40 minutes to complete, Salem’s longest contest of the 2013 season.

After no-hitting the Keys on Wednesday night, the Sox have dropped two straight one-run decisions and will seek a series split in the Saturday night finale. Heri Quevedo will make the start for the Sox opposite Julio Rodriguez for the Keys.

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