Lynchburg rallies, tops Salem Red Sox, 6-3
Lynchburg used four consecutive two-out hits, including three two-out RBIs by Kyle Wren, David Nick and Kevin Ahrens to break a 1-1 tie in the seventh inning and go on to a 6-3 victory over Salem at LewisGale Field Saturday night.
With the game remaining tied 1-1 from the second inning until the seventh, the Hillcats (34-35) finally broke it open in the top of the seventh. With two outs and nobody on, Jose Peraza sparked the rally with a double to the left field wall. It extended his hitting streak to 14 games, which is the longest active streak in the Carolina League. Peraza also improved his league-leading batting average to .342 with a 2-for-5 day at the plate.
With Peraza at second base, Wren came through with a single into right field for his third hit of the game. One batter later, Wren scored on a double to left field by Nick. Ahrens capped off the outburst with an RBI single to give Lynchburg a 4-1 advantage.
Greg Ross (5-3) held Salem to two runs on four hits in 6.1 innings to earn the victory. Ross tied his season high by registering seven strikeouts for the third time this year. Kyle Stroup (1-2) took the loss after allowing the three runs in the seventh.
Salem (32-35) brought the tying run to the plate in each of the last two innings, but Ryan Kelly shut the door for his fifth save of the season. Kelly entered in the eighth with the tying run at first base in a 4-2 game and only one out, but the right-handed reliever retired the first two batters he faced to end the frame.
Lynchburg added a pair of insurance runs in the ninth when Peraza reached on a bunt single, stole two bases and scored on another RBI single by Ahrens. Wren walked in the same frame, stole second and came home on a sacrifice fly by Daniel Carroll. Peraza and Wren continue to pace the Carolina League with 35 and 31 stolen bases, respectively.
In the bottom of the ninth, a hit and two walks allowed by Kelly brought the tying run to the plate. Aneury Tavarez scored on a wild pitch, but that was all for the Red Sox. Kelly induced a groundball off the bat of the Reed Gragnani to the first baseman Edison Sanchez to end the game and give the Hillcats their first victory at Salem since June 16, 2013, snapping a nine-game losing streak at Salem Memorial Ballpark.
The Red Sox held a brief lead in the contest. For their sixth straight game, Salem scored in the first inning. Michael Miller walked and stole second base. He scored three batters later on an RBI single by Matt Gedman. However, the Red Sox couldn’t make it last, as they fell to 2-4 in their last six games despite having the early advantage in all of them.