Minors Roundup: Sox rock Dash, ‘Cats fall in extras, Lidge takes loss
Sox rock Dash Matt Barnes enjoyed another sensational outing, Jackie Bradley, Jr. raised his average to .387, and the Red Sox thrashed the Dash 10-1 on Monday night at LewisGale Field to kick off the pivotal four-game series between the two clubs battling for first place.
Salem’s win brings the Sox within a half game of the Dash heading into Tuesday’s matchup. Travis Shaw went deep for the sixth time in his last 11 games, while Matty Johnson crushed his first homer as a pro, providing the exclamation point to Salem’s second straight dominant victory.
The Sox scored early and often against Winston-Salem starter Justin Collop, plating three in the first, two in the second, and one more in the third to charge ahead 6-0 after three. Michael Almanzar’s RBI double drove in Bradley to break the seal, with Xander Bogaerts and Drew Hedman also recording RBI singles in the first inning. Shaw’s solo homer came in the second inning to surge the Sox in front 5-zip, while Bogaerts scored on a double-play in the third to give the Sox a 6-0 lead. If not for Salem grounding into a season high four double plays in the game, the onslaught may have been even more staggering.
Barnes struck out just three, but only allowed four hits, all singles, in his strong six-inning outing, dealing 54 of his 82 pitches for strikes. On the season, Barnes has now made 11 starts, compiling a 5-1 record and a 1.04 ERA with 81 strikeouts and eight walks.
Salem added to its lead in the last of the sixth, with Johnson launching a two-run bomb off the bottom of the scoreboard beyond the right-center field fence. His first round-tripper at any level, Johnson’s jack made it 8-0, and the Sox added another run later in the frame on Hedman’s third hit of the evening. It became 10-0 in the seventh on Sean Coyle’s RBI grounder that brought home Blair.
Salem recorded 14 hits and now owns 65 hits in five June ballgames for a team average of .357 this month. Bradley registered his fourth four-hit game of the season, while Hedman went 3-for-4 with two RBI. Shaw finished 1-for-2 with a homer and three walks, his fourth three-walk game of the year.
Winston scored its lone run off Jeremiah Bayer with two outs in the top of the ninth, with Michael Early singling home Michael Johnson. Bayer allowed one run on two hits in three innings of relief, picking up his first save of the season in the process.
At 32-23, the Sox are a half game behind the Dash, who reside at 33-23.
Salem strives to move ten games above .500 for the first time this season on Tuesday with Brandon Workman on the mound opposite Winston’s Spencer Arroyo. First pitch is slated for 7:05.
‘Cats fall in extras The bats were limited in a pitchers’ duel Monday night between the Pelicans and Hillcats. The Pelicans ousted the ‘Cats 2-1 in extra innings. Brett Nicholas delivered the walk-off hit for Myrtle Beach, as Hillcats right-hander Juan Jamie suffered the loss in the tenth frame.
The story of the night was great pitching. Pelicans’ stater Nick Tepesch went a season-high eight innings. He allowed just one run on five hits, while walking none and striking out eight. He left the game in a 1-1 tie and took a no-decision.
For Lynchburg, it was right-hander Aaron Northcraft turning in a great start but coming away empty handed. He completed six innings, running into quite a bit more trouble than his counterpart Tepesch but did well to avoid a big inning in the third.
The Pelicans loaded the bases with nobody out against Northcraft in the third inning. Northcraft then induced a shallow pop-up to center field to keep the runners in their place. However, a pass ball off the glove of catcher Braeden Schlehuber during the at-bat brought Odubel Herrera in to score from third base. With runners at second and third and one out, Northcraft got a fielder’s choice out at the plate and another line out to center field to end the inning. It was 1-0 Pelicans.
Northcraft gave up just the one unearned run on four hits. He walked four on the night and struck out one in his no-decision.
The Hillcats scored their lone run in the seventh inning. Chris Garcia hit a fly ball to left field that carried over the wall for his fifth home run of the season. The game was tied at 1-1.
In extras, Nicholas played the hero with an RBI-double down the right field line. Christian Villanueva scored all the way from first on the play and the Pelicans won 2-1.
Lynchburg has now dropped seven straight games, as their longest losing streak of the season continued. Now 28-27, the Hillcats are still in first but just by 1.5 games. They have been in first place all season long, and the last time they were up by just 1.5 games was April 26.
Lidge takes loss Rehabbing Washington National pitcher Brad Lidge gave up a run in the first inning taking the loss in a 4-0 win for the Frederick Keys over the Potomac Nationals in Maryland. Against four batters, Lidge gave up two hits, a walk and struck one man out.
Lidge was making his first rehab appearance since a sports hernia sidelined him in late April with Washington. He struck out the first batter he faced Johnny Ruettiger. Then Jeremy Nowak walked and stole second with Ty Kelly batting. Kelly hit a pop up that dropped between two defenders behind first base that was ruled a hit. Aaron Baker hit a single through the hole on the right side knocking in Nowak and Lidge’s day was over.
Matt Grace took over for Lidge and got the first batter he faced Mike Flacco to roll into a 6-4-3 double play. It was the first of five double plays Grace got the Keys to roll into.
Frederick scored again in the second off of Grace who was originally slated to start this game. Justin Dalles doubled to lead off the frame and scored on a one-out infield single by Michael Mosby when Zach Walters throw to first went over first basemen Justin Bloxom’s head. Jeremy Nowak had the biggest hit of the day with a two-out two-run double to extend the Frederick lead to 4-0.
Grace would go the final seven and two-third innings for Potomac for easily the longest relief outing of the year. His last six innings were scoreless.
Unfortunately for Potomac, the P-Nats couldn’t get anything going against Frederick starter Tyler Wilson. Potomac got just four base runners against Wilson who tossed six shutout innings striking out seven. Wilson (2-1) picked up the win.
Wilson was relieved by Jason Gurka who yielded only one hit in three scoreless innings. By pitching the final three innings of the game, Gurka got his first save of the year.
Lidge (0-1) took the loss in his first ever game with Potomac. It’s the fifth straight year he’s made a rehab start (2007 – Houston, 2008-2011 – Philadelphia).