Salem Red Sox down Wilmington, 5-4
Sean Coyle crushed his fourth homer in his last five games, Henry Owens flashed signs of greatness in his 82-pitch, 53-strike performance, and the Salem Red Sox tasted victory for the eighth time in the last ten games, downing Wilmington 5-4 on Monday night at Frawley Stadium. Coyle, who started the game with a solo homer off Blue Rocks ace Kyle Zimmer, now has seven round-trippers in 14 contests this season. Owens finished with a season-best eight strikeouts, picking up at least one punchout in every inning to earn the win with the help of the bullpen.
The Sox led 1-0 thanks to Coyle’s leadoff homer, his second leadoff shot of the year, but the Blue Rocks scratched a run off Owens in the last of the second. Even at one into the third, Coyle singled to start a four-run rally, with the Red Sox getting RBI from Keury De La Cruz, Brandon Jacobs, Blake Swihart, and Henry Ramos.
Owens cemented the strong top half of the fourth with an overwhelmingly dominant bottom half, where he struck out the side on just 13 pitches. Owens was perfect in the third and fourth before yielding two hits, including a Justin Trapp RBI double in the fifth, which made the score 5-2.
The Blue Rocks plated a pair against reliever Robby Scott in the last of the sixth, using a Lane Adams RBI triple and Daniel Mateo’s RBI single to inch within a run. But Scott induced a pair of pop-ups to strand the tying run at second base, and the Blue Rocks would not experience another baserunner for the rest of the night.
Nefi Ogando tossed two perfect innings out of the Red Sox bullpen, while Matty Ott came on for the ninth and struck out a pair in his 1-2-3 frame to earn the save. All together, Scott, Ogandoo, and Ott combined to set down the final 11 Blue Rocks batters in the ballgame.
Coyle, Swihart, and Ramos each finished with two hits for the Sox, while Nick Natoli contributed a double and two walks for Salem’s offense.
Guaranteed a winning month of April, the Red Sox (12-10) will try to head into May with nine wins in 11 games by taking down the Blue Rocks again on Tuesday. Kyle Stroup makes the start for Salem opposite Wilmington’s John Lamb, with the first pitch scheduled for 6:35.
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