Salem Red Sox fall to Blue Rocks, 6-1
After recording 30 hits in their previous two games, the Salem Red Sox managed just one in the first six innings and five overall on Friday night, dropping the opener against Wilmington 6-1.
Blue Rock righthander Elisaul Pimentel silenced the Sox over seven superb innings, in which he permitted just two hits while striking out six and walking nobody. Salem starter Keith Couch was almost as good, but surrendered one run in the fifth, the only tally he yielded in six very solid frames on the mound. Still, it was enough to saddle him with the loss.
Pimentel retired the first 14 men he faced before Michael Almanzar doubled with two outs in the fifth. Following the Almanzar hit, Pimentel set down five straight, allowed a one-out single to Travis Shaw, and recorded two more outs to complete seven innings. He faced just 23 batters and permitted only two hits, improving to 2-1 in the Carolina League this season.
Luis Piterson singled with one out in the fifth, stole second, and scored Geulin Beltre’s two-out single to left. The 1-0 lead remained into the seventh, when the Blue Rocks broke it open with a three-run rally against Red Sox reliever Charle Rosario. Wilmington scored three in the seventh, one in the eighth, and one more in the ninth to lead 6-0.
In the last of the ninth, Xander Bogaerts’ RBI ground-out plated Shannon Wilkerson with one out to break up the shutout, but Almanzar grounded out to end the game against Robinson Yambati, who tossed the final two frames for Wilmington in relief of Pimentel.
Beltre led the Blue Rocks with three hits, while four other Wilmington batters registered multi-hit nights, collaborating on the 13-hit performance for the visitors. Shaw went 2-for-4 for Salem, while Wilkerson, Almanzar, and Lucas LeBlanc also mustered hits on the quiet offensive evening for the Sox.