The Salem Red Sox recorded just four hits on Wednesday night at LewisGale Field, losing 7-2 at the hands of the Lynchburg Hillcats. The loss was the third in a row for the Sox.
Lynchburg wasted no time getting started as Luigi Rodriguez and Clint Frazier led off the top of the first with back-to-back home runs to take a 2-0 lead. The Hillcats would not trail in the game and have yet to trail over the first two games in the series.
With two outs in the third inning, Salem starter Teddy Stankiewicz hit Clint Frazier, starting a two-out rally. Bradley Zimmer followed with a single and Nellie Rodriguez laced a double to right, scoring Frazier to push the lead to 3-0.
An inning later, Mike Papi scored on a single from Paul Hendrix to make it 4-0. Three batters later, Frazier lined a single to center, scoring Rodriguez, bumping the advantage to 5-0. The first four batters in the Lynchburg order (Luigi Rodriguez, Frazier, Zimmer, Nellie Rodriguez) were a combined 9-for-18 with two doubles, two home runs, four runs scored and five RBI.
Stankiewicz (0-5) was tagged with the loss, lasting six innings but giving up five runs on ten hits.
Meanwhile, Lynchburg starter Adam Plutko carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning before Aneury Tavarez singled with one out. Plutko (4-2) allowed just the one hit and two walks in seven dominant innings, striking out a season-high 10 batters.
Lynchburg added tallies in the seventh and ninth innings, countered by Salem runs in the eighth and the ninth. Jose Vinicio drove in the first run of the day for the Sox in the last of the eighth on an RBI fielder’s choice. Wendell Rijo whacked an RBI double with two outs in the ninth to account for the final margin.
The two squads match up in the series finale on Thursday night at 7:05 p.m. Kevin McAvoy (3-2, 2.04) gets the ball for Salem against Lynchburg’s Luis Lugo (1-2, 4.24). Fans can enjoy dollar beverage specials as part of Thirsty Thursday. Those unable to attend can listen to the game on 1240 AM ESPN Roanoke, online at salemsox.com or via the TuneIn Radio app.