Home Wilmington rallies late, tops Salem Red Sox, 5-4

Wilmington rallies late, tops Salem Red Sox, 5-4


salem red soxThe Salem Red Sox were overthrown by the pesky Wilmington Blue Rocks Friday night at Frawley Stadium, 5-4.

The game was scoreless into the top of the third inning, when Salem (39-22) pushed across a pair of runs against Wilmington (20-38) starter Zach Lovvorn. Bryan Hudson led off with a single and advanced to second on a passed ball before scoring on a Yoan Moncada single.

Moncada advanced to second on an errant Lovvorn pickoff attempt, and scored on a Mauricio Dubon single. Moncada had another strong performance at the plate, going 1-for-3 with a walk, an RBI, a run scored, and his 36th stolen base of the season.

Red Sox starting pitcher Daniel McGrath cruised through the first six innings, but ran into some trouble in the bottom of the seventh. Three straight hits and a sacrifice fly to lead off the inning led tied the game at two before Brandon Downes homered to give the Blue Rocks a 4-2 lead.

McGrath (1-2) lasted 6.1 innings, allowing four runs on seven hits, while walking two and striking out a season-high six. He picked off three Blue Rocks baserunners to keep early threats at bay.

Salem drew closer in the top of the eighth against Kyle Kubat (2-0) when Dubon beat out an infield single, then advanced to third after a wild pitch and a passed ball. Nick Longhi crushed an opposite-field double to bring in Dubon and cut the deficit to 4-3.

Jamie Callahan put out the fire in the seventh after the Downes homer, but loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the eighth and allowed a run to fall behind 5-3.

Danny Mars led off the top of the ninth with a double off Blue Rocks reliever Derek Gordon then stole third base. He scored on a Ben Moore sacrifice fly to shave a run off the advantage, but the single tally is all Salem could muster.

Despite the loss, the Red Sox’ magic number to clinch the first-half division crown dropped to three thanks to a Myrtle Beach setback. Salem has not won a first-half championship since 1988.

The Red Sox continue their series with the Blue Rocks Saturday night at Frawley Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 pm. Salem will pitch Jalen Beeks (4-3, 3.34), while Wilmington counters with Corey Ray (1-2, 5.40). Follow along with all the action on the Salem Red Sox Baseball Network, with pre-game coverage beginning at 6:45 pm.



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