Salem pounds Frederick, takes series

Salem scored five times in the fifth inning to break open the series finale in Frederick, rolling to an 11-1 triumph against the Keys to take three out of four in the series at Harry Grove Stadium.

Michael Almanzar, Brandon Jacobs, and Sean Coyle all belted home runs with men on base, and the Sox bullpen dealt six scoreless innings in relief of Matt Barnes, who didn’t allow an earned run in his three-inning stint. Salem pounded 15 hits against two Frederick pitchers, while the Keys came up empty despite numerous chances, going 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position.

Barnes needed 73 pitches to traverse three innings, working into numerous deep counts against the Keys’ pesky hitters. He required 31 throws in the first, but did not allow a run, stranding a pair in scoring position. He set down the side in order in the second, inducing three ground-outs, but utilized 20 pitches to do so. In the third, two Salem errors helped lead to Frederick’s only run, with Garabez Rosa coming across on an errant pick-off attempt to first. In three innings, Barnes permitted two hits and one unearned run, striking out five and walking one.

The Sox offense scored in the top of the first for the third time in four games and Salem led 5-zip before the Keys plated their only run in the third. Jacobs drilled the first of his four hits for a two-out RBI single in the top of the first, bringing home Shannon Wilkerson to make it 1-0. Two frames later, Jacobs’ RBI single scored Felix Sanchez to double the Red Sox lead, which multiplied again when Almanzer drilled a three-run homer off Keys  starter Trent Howard to make it 5-0. The round-tripper was Almanzar’s third dinger of the series and his eighth of the season, six of which have come against Frederick.

In the top of the fifth, Salem added five more, all via the long ball. With Travis Shaw on base following a one-out single, Jacobs punished a line-drive over the left-center field fence for  a two-run blast, making it 7-1. After a Xander Bogaerts walk and a Christian Vazquez single, Sean Coyle smashed his second three-run missile in as many days, launching his seventh homer of the season to boost the Sox to a 10-1 advantage. Two frames later, Carson Blair’s sacrifice fly scored Vazquez to give the Sox a 10-run cushion in the top of the seventh.

Andrew Jones tossed three scoreless innings out of the Red Sox bullpen to earn the win, improving to 4-1, while Pete Ruiz picked up his second save with three scoreless frames of his own to close it out. The trio of Barnes, Jones, and Ruiz combined to strike out 13 Keys on the afternoon.

Jacobs finished 4-for-5 with four RBI, while Coyle went 3-for-5 with three RBI. Almanzar also added two hits and drove in two runs for the Sox, who recorded 37 runs on 52 hits in the four-game series against the Keys.

Augusta Health Kris McMackin CPA
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Augusta Free Press