Luis Diaz and Simon Mercedes combined to three-hit the Dash on Monday night, working efficiently and effectively as the Salem Eed Sox cruised to a 7-1 victory, wrapping up a 3-1 series win over Winston-Salem. Carson Blair commenced the scoring with a first inning solo homer, while Matty Johnson collected two extra base hits and scored a pair of runs in Salem’s 10th win of the year.
Diaz remained perfect until Adam Heisler singled with two outs in the third inning. He had set down 13 of the first 14 when Joey DeMichele tripled with one out in the fifth. A sacrifice fly from Michael Marjama plated the Winston’s only run of the night, and Diaz worked around a leadoff double from Heisler in the sixth. The Venezuelan righty needed only 60 pitches in six innings of work, eagerly throwing to contact, evidenced by his collecting only one strikeout.
In relief, Simon Mercedes flashed his mid-90s fastball and remained perfect through the game’s conclusion. He set down all nine men he faced, striking out three, and receiving some solid glovework from his teammates in the outfield. With his three scoreless frames, Mercedes was credited with the save. On the evening, the Dash only had 30 men come to the plate, three more than the minimum.
Offensively, the Sox scored in five different innings, beginning with Blair’s towering solo shot in the first. Two innings later, Johnson doubled, moved to third on a wild pitch, and scored on Jonathan Roof’s sac fly to left.
It became 4-0 in the fourth, when Kevin Heller worked a two-out walk and came around on Aneury Tavarez’ ensuing triple. Mario Martinez promptly singled home Tavarez to add to Salem’s lead.
Although Dash starter Brad Goldberg set down the final seven men he faced in his six-inning performance, the right-hander suffered his third loss of the year, yielding four runs on four hits. A pair of lefty relievers named Sean both gave up runs in the late innings. Salem scored twice against Bierman in the seventh and once more against Hagan in the ninth.
The victory improved the Red Sox to 10-8 overall, 8-3 on the road, heading into a week-long homestand at LewisGale Field. Following a day off on Tuesday, Salem will host the Lynchburg Hillcats on Wednesday night, with Corey Littrell scheduled to start opposite Jarrett Miller, with the first pitch slated for the traditional time of 7:05.
With the calendar flipping to the month of October, it means postseason baseball is in the air, and with the Sunday’s conclusion of the regular season in the books, the MLB playoffs are now officially set.