Salem opens series at Winston-Salem with W

Two Tyler Saladino errors proved costly for the Dash, helping the Sox score three unearned runs in a 6-3 series-opening victory on Monday night at LewisGale Field. Salem trailed 3-1 after five, but rallied for three to take to the lead in the last of the sixth and added two more unearned insurance tallies in the last of the eighth. The triumph snapped Salem’s four-game losing skid and moved the Red Sox back within five and a half games of the division lead with 13 games to play in the regular season.

In the pivotal sixth inning, Dash starter Matt Wickswat walked Heiker Meneses and yielded back-to-back singles to Kolbrin Vitek and Bryce Brentz, with the latter driving in a run to slice a two-run deficit in half. Wickswat departed after striking out Jorge Padron for the first out, but both of Justin Cassel’s inherited runners scored on Peter Hissey’s two-out grounder up the middle. With the baserunners at second and third, Saladino scooped up Hissey’s roller but tossed errantly to first, allowing both Vitek and Brentz to score. Hissey was credited with a single and one RBI, with Brentz plated as a result of the throwing error.

In the eighth, Salem had runners at first and second when Saladino once again misplayed a Hissey grounder, bobbling a perfect double-play ball that could have ended the inning. Instead, the bases were loaded, and Salem added two crucial insurance runs on Shannon Wilkerson’s sac fly and Josue Peley’s RBI single off Cassel.

The eighth-inning pair helped Salem avoid a tense ninth inning with Jeremiah Bayer on the mound. Having retired 11 of the first 12 he faced in relief of Drake Britton, Bayer yielded a two-out triple to Saladino on a deep-drive that ticked off Hissey’s mitt near the warning track in straight-away center. Thanks to the insurance runs, Saladino’s presence at third was rendered significantly less important, and Bayer whiffed Jared Mitchell to finish the contest, improving to 7-2 with four scoreless frames out of the bullpen.

Salem’s early 1-0 lead, assumed when Vitek singled to drive in Wilkerson in the third, was quickly erased when Winston rallied for two runs in the fourth. Britton walked Juan Silverio to begin the frame and Ian Gac hammered a double down the left-field line, moving Silverio to third. The tying run scored on Mike Blanke’s RBI single, while the go-ahead run crossed on Kyle Colligan’s two-out, RBI single. The Dash added another against Britton with Gac driving in Saladino in the fifth to take a 3-1 lead, but Winston’s offense would go quiet the rest of the way.

Britton left with Salem trailing 3-1, but dodged his league-leading 14th loss because of Salem’s mighty comeback. Britton surrendered three runs on seven hits in five frames, striking out two and walking five.

Vitek and Peley each collected multiple hits for the Salem Sox, with Vitek collecting his 41st multi-hit night of the season. Brentz, Hissey, and Wilkerson joined the aforementioned multi-hit duo with one RBI apiece in the Red Sox win, Salem’s seventh straight over Winston-Salem dating back to July 3.

The Red Sox will go for their eighth in a row over the Dash on Tuesday evening at 7:05, with Anthony Ranaudo scheduled to tangle with Cameron Bayne.

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