Home Wilmington nips Salem Red Sox, 2-1

Wilmington nips Salem Red Sox, 2-1


salem red soxFor the second straight night, the Wilmington Blue Rocks came back late to defeat the Salem Red Sox, 2-1 Saturday at Daniel Frawley Stadium.

Red Sox (39-23) starting pitcher Jalen Beeks set the tone early, retiring the first 11 batters he faced before a walk in the fourth inning. The southpaw from the University of Arkansas resisted allowing a hit until a broken-bat infield single by Brandon Downes with one out in the fifth inning.

Beeks picked up right where he left off in his last start against the Lynchburg Hillcats, a rain-shortened five-inning affair in which he threw a complete game. In that contest, Beeks faced the minimum required batters in his final three innings.

The 12th-round pick in the 2014 MLB Draft tossed 6.0 shutout frames, allowing just one hit while walking one and striking out five. He has allowed just one earned run in his last 12.1 innings pitched.

Wilmington (21-38) starter Corey Ray was sharp as well, making just one mistake in his 6.2 innings. That mistake was an 0-1 fastball clobbered by Nick Longhi for a solo home run in the top of the fourth. It was Longhi’s first home run of the season.

Ben Taylor (0-2) replaced Beeks after his night was done, and with two outs in the seventh, the Blue Rocks strung together three hits and a walk to plate a pair of runs and take a 2-1 lead.

Blue Rocks reliever Colin Rodgers was the beneficiary of the rally, but walked Bryan Hudson and Yoan Moncada to open the top of the eighth. The bases were loaded with no outs after Mauricio Dubon reached on a fielder’s choice and error, but Rodgers (2-4) pitched through the jam thanks to a strikeout and a double play. He closed out the Sox in the ninth to seal the win.

With the loss, the Red Sox’ magic number to clinch the first-half division crown remains at three. Salem has not won a first-half championship since 1988.

The Red Sox complete the series with the Blue Rocks Sunday afternoon at Frawley Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 1:35 pm. Salem will hand the ball to Trey Ball (2-3, 2.95), while Wilmington counters with Matt Tenuta (3-3, 5.86). Follow along with all the action on the Salem Red Sox Baseball Network, with pre-game coverage beginning at 1:15 pm.



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