Keys take opener from Salem

Manny Machado went 3-for-4 with two doubles and two runs batted in, leading the Frederick Keys to a 4-2 victory over the Red Sox at Harry Grove Stadium on Monday night. The Keys continued their dominance over Salem, winning for the 11th time in the last 12 meetings between the two squads.

The Sox outhit the Keys 8-6, but went a paltry 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position and left 11 men on base. Salem had baserunners in all but one inning and brought the tying run to the plate in each of the last six frames. But the Sox could not find the clutch hit, striking out six times with runners in scoring position.

Frederick got on the board with solo tallies in each of the first two frames off of Salem starter Drake Britton. In the first, Machado laced an RBI double, scoring Jonathan Schoop to make it 1-0. An inning later, Brian Ward homered with one out to double the Keys’ advantage. Aside from that, Britton was solid, retiring eight straight to finish his outing. He was tagged with the loss to fall to 1-10, but struck out five and yielded just three hits over four innings.

Salem got a run back in the top of the fifth as a two-out error extended the inning and Vladimir Frias scored on a balk before another pitch was thrown to make it 2-1 Keys.

However, the Keys fought back in the bottom of the fifth, scoring twice off reliever Tom Ebert. The righthander allowed five of the first six hitters to reach, including Machado’s RBI single, but fought back to strike out two batters to strand the bases loaded. Ebert used the back-to-back Ks as a springboard for the rest of his outing, retiring the next six batters in order.

After missed opportunities in the sixth and seventh, Salem loaded the bases with one out in the eighth, but scored just once on a sac fly from Peter Hissey. In the ninth, Jorge Padron doubled with two outs, but Bryce Brentz flew out to center to end the game.

Alex Valdez and Dan Butler each had two hits for Salem, who lost for the ninth time in its last 12 games.

The Sox and Keys continue their four-game set on Tuesday night at 7:00 PM. Anthony Ranaudo will make his 10th Carolina League start against Frederick’s Nathan Moreau.

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