Salem Red Sox hang on, defeat Blue Rocks
For the second straight day, Salem (26-10) jumped out to an early lead when Wilmington (10-25) starting pitcher Josh Staumont struggled with his command. He walked Mauricio Dubon and Nick Longhi before surrendering a two-out single to Danny Mars, scoring Dubon, and a double to Mike Meyers, plating Longhi and Mars as the Sox jumped out 3-0.
Staumont’s (0-4) control issues persisted in the second, when he walked the bases loaded with one out, before plunking Andrew Benintendi and walking Longhi to force in two runs. Mars delivered a two-run double to break the game open 7-0. After a fifth walk in the inning, Staumont was removed in favor of Tim Hill, who calmed the Sox offense down.
Dedgar Jimenez was solid early for Salem, facing just one over the minimum through three innings before allowing a run in the fourth and four unearned runs in the fifth. Jimenez (2-1) went 5.0 innings, allowing five runs (one earned) on eight hits, walking two and striking out two.
The Red Sox padded their lead in the bottom of the sixth against reliever Brennan Henry, when Longhi walked again and Mars followed with a triple high off the wall in left-centerfield to make it 8-5. Mars finished 3-for-5 with a double, triple and a career-high four RBIs.
Salem touched up the Blue Rocks bullpen in the seventh, when Deiner Lopez doubled, advanced to third on a groundout, and Yoan Moncada was intentionally walked. Dubon responded by driving in Lopez with an infield single to make it 9-5.
Blue Rocks reliever Jake Newberry allowed a tally in the eighth when Meyers doubled with two outs, then scored on a Jordan Betts single to make it 10-5.
Mario Alcantara dazzled in relief for Salem, going 3.0 scoreless innings to bridge the gap to Jake Drehoff who came in for the ninth.
Wilmington made the game interesting in the ninth, when Alfredo Escalera hit a leadoff triple and scored on an error. After a walk to Corey Toups, Wander Franco blasted a three-run home run to cut the Sox’ lead to 10-9. Drehoff struck out two of the next three hitters to preserve the victory.
The Red Sox four-game series with the Blue Rocks concludes Monday at LewisGale Field. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 pm. Salem will send Trey Ball (1-0, 2.81) to the mound, countered by Ashton Goudeau (2-3, 4.85) of Wilmington. For tickets and more information, call (540) 389-3333 or slide to www.salemsox.com.