Salem Red Sox bomb Lynchburg Hillcats, again, in 11-2 win
Red Sox (67-45, 24-19) starting pitcher Michael Kopech was locked in early, not allowing a hit to the Hillcats through the first three frames. In the fourth, back-to-back two-out hits by Dorssys Paulino and Sicnarf Loopstok, along with an error produced an unearned run and put Lynchburg (71-43, 26-18) ahead 1-0.
Kopech (2-1) threw 5.0 innings, allowing just the one unearned run on three hits, walking four and striking out seven. The right-hander has not allowed an earned run in his last 12.0 innings, striking out 17 and allowing just five hits in the span.
The Red Sox picked up their starter in the bottom of the fifth with three runs against Hillcats starter Jared Robinson. With two outs, Joseph Monge singled and Bryan Hudson walked ahead of a Rafael Devers triple. Robinson then uncorked a wild pitch to score Devers handing Salem a 3-1 advantage.
Salem went batty against Robinson (1-3) in the sixth, plating six runs to take a commanding 9-1 lead. The Red Sox loaded the bases with one out before the merry-go-round was set in motion by six straight run-producing at-bats. Robinson was removed in favor of Matt Whitehouse, who allowed three inherited runners to score.
Against Whitehouse in the bottom of the seventh, the Red Sox scored another run when Monge singled to score Jose Sermo and give Salem a 10-1 lead. Monge finished 4-for-5 with a run scored and two RBIs, and is 11-for-17 at the dish in his last three games.
Mario Alcantara relieved Kopech and threw scoreless stanzas in the sixth and seventh innings, but allowed a run on a Loopstok sacrifice fly in the eighth to allow Lynchburg to narrow the gulley to 10-2. Back-to-back doubles from Jayce Ray and Sermo in the bottom of the eighth made it 11-2 Red Sox.
Keuhl McEachern made his 2016 Salem debut in the ninth inning, and set the Hillcats aside 1-2-3 to seal the victory.
The Red Sox scored at least 10 runs in a game for the third straight contest for the first time in the Red Sox era. Four Salem batsmen recorded multiple hits, and in the last three games the offense has exploded for 36 runs and 57 hits.
The Red Sox enjoy an off day Monday before hitting the road to begin a three-game series with Myrtle Beach Tuesday. First pitch at TicketReturn.com Field Tuesday night is scheduled for 7:05 pm. Salem will send Matt Kent (8-6, 3.85) to the mound, while Myrtle Beach counters with Jake Stinnett (7-4, 4.37). Follow along with the action on the Salem Red Sox Baseball Network, with pre-game coverage beginning at 6:45.