The Salem Red Sox survived a furious Keys rally in the eight to stay one ahead, eventually taking the series opener 8-5 from Frederick. The Keys scored two in the eight, but the would be tying run Steel Russell was throw out at the plate by Aneury Tavarez to preserve the lead.
Justin Haley got the win for the Sox, throwing five and a third solid innings, allowing just three hits. Two runs were charged to Haley, after Madison Younginer allowed a hit that brought in two inherited runners. Dylan Bundy was saddled with the loss for Frederick, allowing six runs and six hits in four plus innings of work. Kyle Martin picked up his seventh save.
The Sox chipped away at the Orioles top prospect starting in the second. Carson Blair singled and Kendrick Perkins doubled to set up second and third with no outs. Bundy then surrendered a two run single to Mario Martinez to put the Sox up 2-0.
Matty Johnson walked to start the third. He stole second, was sacrificed to third by Mike Miller, and scored on a groundout by Jantzen Witte. Salem added to its total in the fourth. Kevin Heller scored on a sacrifice fly by Tavarez to make it 4-0. In all, seven Sox would pick up an RBI in the victory.
Salem knocked Bundy out of the game in the fifth. Dreily Guerrero walked to start the frame, stole second, and reached third on a wild pitch. He scored on a single by Johnson, Bundy’s final batter. Matty would eventually come around on a single by Heller, a sixth run charged to Bundy.
But Frederick would not go down easy. After a walk, out and single, Frederick had second and third with one out. Younginer came in to relieve Haley, and got Jason Esposito to strike out, but allowed a two RBI double to Brenden Webb to cut the lead to 6-2. Two batters later, Steel Russell drove in Webb for a third run in the frame.
The game held 6-3 entering a wild eighth inning. Burgess led off with a walk against new Sox pitcher Kyle Martin. After back to back fly-outs, Adrian Marin launched a two run homer to shrink the lead to 6-5. Russell followed with a single, and was on first when Jerome Pena hit a two out grounder to third. Mario Martinez threw wild to first, allowing Pena to reach on an error. As the ball rolled down the right field line, Russell tried to score, but was thrown out at the plate by Tavarez for the final out of the eight, keeping the Sox up by one.
With the momentum swing, Salem struck for two insurance runs in the bottom of the eight. Tavarez doubled to lead off the inning off Gene Escat, and scored on a single by Jordan Weems. After a fielders choice put Guerrero on the bases, Dreily stole second and scored on a single by Miller to put the Sox up 8-5.
Kyle Matin allowed a hit in the ninth, but finished the job for his seventh save. The win was Salem’s first at home in July, and third straight overall. Game two of the series is tomorrow at 7:05. Pat Light goes for the Sox with Brady Wager on the bump for the Keys.