Salem Red Sox fall to Blue Rocks, 7-4
Wilmington pounded four consecutive two-out singles in the top of the seventh, transforming a 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 lead and shifting the momentum toward a 7-4 Wilmington victory over the Salem Red Sox on Saturday night at LewisGale Field.
Sox starter Brandon Workman enjoyed a very effective outing through six and two-thirds innings, retiring the first two men in the seventh without much difficulty. But Juan Graterol registered the third of his game-high four hits to prolong the frame, with Geulin Beltre, Whit Merrifield, and Orlando Calixte all adding clutch singles to eventually bring in three runs, surging the Rocks into an advantage they would not relinquish.
Wilmington went ahead 5-2 with a run in the top of the eighth, but Salem countered with two in the bottom of the inning to inch back within one. The Sox were hoping to stay close with the idea of creating the first walk-off win of the season in the bottom of the ninth, but Lane Adams launched a two-run homer with two outs in the top of the ninth, increasing the Blue Rocks lead to 7-4. Wilmington closer Sam Runion issued a leadoff walk in the last of the ninth before striking out the next three Sox to finish the game.
Graterol went 4-for-4 to lead the way for Wilmington, while Calixte finished his day 3-for-5 with two doubles and three RBI to guide the Wilmington offense that compiled 16 hits. Travis Shaw and Sean Coyle each recorded three hits for the Red Sox, with Shaw crushing his 16th homer of the season in the third inning. The solo shot gave the Sox a 2-1 lead, an edge that would stand through the sixth but no further.
Edwin Carl earned the win with three scoreless innings of relief for the Blue Rocks. Wilmington starter Matt Ridings permitted two runs on six hits over four frames. On the other side, Workman suffered the loss despite allowing just one run through six and two-thirds. The Blue Rocks delivered consecutive doubles to start the game, breaking the scoring seal very quickly in the top of the first. But Workman rebounded nicely to give the Sox a great chance. Unable to record the final out in the seventh, though, Workman fell to 7-6 on the season. In relief, Michael Gleason allowed three runs in two and a third innings.