Salem Red Sox blast Potomac Nationals, 13-1
The party began in the third when Sam Travis poked a single up the middle, scoring Franklin Guzman from second. Mario Martinez then singled in Travis to make it 2-0 Salem.
The dam burst in the fifth with seven Red Sox runs. With runners second and third and one out, Travis again got things started, bouncing a grounder to third base. Guzman took off from third on contact and beat the throw home to score the inning’s first run. Martinez followed up with an RBI single to score Manuel Margot. Wendell Rijo kept the line moving and singled, driving in Travis. Cole Sturgeon then slapped a single up the middle to extend his hitting streak to ten games, loading the bases. Jake Romanski then unloaded the bases with a three-run double, pushing Salem ahead 8-0. Then, while batting for the second time in the inning, Guzman singled home Romanski to cap Salem’s largest inning of the year and give the Sox a 9-0 lead.
Travis finished 3-for-5 with three runs scored and two RBI. Romanski was 2-for-4 with two runs and four RBI and Martinez drove in a pair while going 2-for-5 with a run scored.
Salem kept hitting in the sixth as they loaded the bases with two outs. Romanski was hit by a pitch to force in Tzu-Wei Lin. Potomac reliever Kevin Perez then spiked a pitch in the dirt allowing Travis to sprint home from third. With two runners on, Jordan Betts found the right-center field gap for a two-run double, driving in Sturgeon and Romanski to make it 13-0 Red Sox.
Meanwhile, Trey Ball cruised to his fourth win of the year. Ball (4-5) allowed only two hits over six shutout innings while walking four and striking out two. Ball lowered his ERA to 4.42 and did not allow a run for the second time in his last three starts.
Potomac’s only run came in the seventh inning with an unearned tally against German Taveras. Estarlin Martinez doubled and later scored on a throwing error from Lin. Phillips Valdez (0-1) got roughed up in his second outing with the P-Nats, as he was tagged for nine runs (five earned) over 4.1 innings. He allowed ten hits and struck out a pair.
Salem has now beaten Potomac in nine-straight games dating back to August 13, 2014. The streak ties a franchise record for consecutive wins over the Potomac organization, equaling a nine-game stretch by the Salem Avalanche over the Potomac Cannons from July 16, 2002-April 5, 2003.
The Red Sox and Nationals go at it again on Friday night at 7:05 p.m. Reigning Carolina League pitcher of the week Teddy Stankiewicz (1-5, 3.52) will take on Reynaldo Lopez (2-2, 4.01). It’s Harry Potter Night at LewisGale Field and there will be a postgame fireworks show. Fans unable to attend can listen on 1240 AM ESPN Roanoke, online at salemsox.com or via the TuneIn Radio app.