Lynchburg overcomes 16Ks in 13-5 win over Salem Red Sox
Four batters into the bottom of the first, the Lynchburg Hillcats (37-20) took the lead when Bobby Bradley smoked a grand slam to centerfield. Salem (37-21) starter Trey Ball would yield six runs (three earned) in 0.2 of an inning while giving up just three hits while walking two.
German Taveras entered in relief of Ball (2-3) in the first and allowed two more runs before striking out Bradley to retire the side, but not before the Hillcats took an 8-0 lead.
The Red Sox chased Lynchburg starter Luis Lugo from the game in the top of the second inning, when he walked four batters, including Jordan Betts and Yoan Moncada with the bases loaded to cut the lead to 8-2.
Lynchburg answered with three runs in the bottom of the third against Taveras, who walked two and allowed a hit before being pulled in favor of Ben Taylor. All three inherited runners scored to extend the Hillcats’ advantage to 11-2.
Taylor was phenomenal in relief, tossing 4.0 innings, allowing no runs of his own on two hits, walking one and striking out a career-high 10. The 10 strikeouts also represent a single-game season-high for a Red Sox pitcher. He struck out the side in two of his four innings.
Salem touched up reliever Luke Eubank in the top of the sixth, as Joseph Monge singled with one out and advanced to third on a Betts double. A J.T. Watkins infield single scored Monge, and a throwing error allowed Betts to score as well. After a Moncada single and a walk to Deiner Lopez, Mike Meyers lifted a sacrifice fly to shave the Hillcats lead to 11-5.
Lynchburg got two of the runs back off Simon Mercedes in the bottom of the seventh thanks to a Bobby Bradley two-run double to make it 13-5. Mercedes spun a scoreless eighth, striking out two.
Cameron Hill (4-0) got the win in relief for Lynchburg, as he was the most effective pitcher, allowing a hit in 2.0 innings while striking out five.
The Red Sox are back home against the Lynchburg Hillcats Tuesday at LewisGale Field. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 pm. Salem will throw Matt Kent (4-3, 3.78) while Lynchburg counters with Justus Sheffield (4-1, 2.83). Follow along with the action on the Salem Red Sox Baseball Network, with coverage beginning at 6:45 pm.