Red Sox top Blue Rocks, 4-2

salem red soxSam Travis launched a three-run home run in the fifth inning to give the Salem Red Sox the lead for good as they bested the Wilmington Blue Rocks 4-2 on Friday night at LewisGale Field.

Both teams plated a run in the first inning with Wilmington getting things started in the top half. Cody Stubbs smacked a single to right field that scored Jack Lopez from second. Salem responded in the home half when Yoilan Cerse smacked a one-out single. With Cerse on third two batters later, Mario Martinez bounced a grounder to second base that scored Cerse to tie things at one.

Denny Bautista settled in after surrendering the first inning run, as he retired nine batters in a row from the second to the fourth. In the first at-bat of the fifth inning, however, Santiago Nessy clobbered a solo shot to left-center to give Wilmington a 2-1 lead.

Salem mounted a two-out rally in the fifth inning, with Manuel Margot guiding a single to left-center to start the burst. Cerse then worked a walk, sending Travis to the dish with two runners on. Travis pounced on the first pitch, tattooing it to left-center for a no doubter of a three-run shot. His team-leading fourth home run put the Sox on top 4-2.

Bautista (3-0) picked up the win with his best outing since joining the Red Sox. He allowed only five hits and two runs over seven innings in his fourth start with Salem, retiring 18 of the final 20 batters he faced.

Wilmington starter Cody Reed (5-4) gave up four runs on eight hits over seven innings while striking out five. The four runs that the Red Sox scored off of Reed are the most that he has surrendered in any start this season.

Travis finished a triple shy of the cycle, going 4-for-4 with a stolen base to go with his homer and two RBI. Manuel Margot also impressed offensively, as he went 3-for-4 with a stolen base and a run scored

The Red Sox improved to 31-29 with the victory. Wilmington dropped its second straight and fell to 34-27 with the loss. The series continues Saturday night with a 6:05 p.m. first pitch. Ty Buttrey (4-0, 2.40) will oppose Wilmington’s Alec Mills (4-3, 2.97). It’s Beach night at LewisGale Field with live music by Key West Band. Fans unable to attend can listen to the game on 1240 AM ESPN Roanoke, online at or via the TuneIn Radio app.

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