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Salem Red Sox hold off Lynchburg Hillcats, 4-2

salem red soxLynchburg scored first and last, but Salem scored the most in a 4-2 victory on Wednesday night to begin a week-long homeland at LewisGale Field. Corey Littrell earned the win with five strong innings, while Aneury Tavarez launched a two-run homer and David Chester crushed a solo shot to help the Sox win for the fifth time in the last six games.
Littrell permitted a run before an out was recorded, but rebounded to earn his first carolina league victory. After surrendering a leadoff triple to Jose Peraza and an RBI single to Kyle Wren, Littrell surrendered only two more hits in the remainder of his five-inning stint. With the Sox still trailing 1-0, Littrell escaped a bases loaded predicament unscathed in the top of the third, and the momentum pendulum swung Salem’s way from there.
In the last of the third, Matty Johnson reached with a one-out single and scored on Ryan Dent’s double off the top of the 20-foot-tall wall in deep left-center. With the score tied in the fourth, Tavarez pulverized a Jarrett Miller fastball for a titanic two-run blast, his second of the year, to give the Sox a 3-1 lead. One frame later, with two outs and the bases empty, Chester collected his second round-tripper, walloping a deep drive over the left-field fence to make it 4-1.
In relief of Littrell, Austin Maddox dealt two scoreless innings, while Madison Younginer delivered a scoreless eighth. In the ninth, Dayan Diaz served up a solo homer to Tyler Tewell, but earned his first carolina league save by closing it out.
Reed Gragnani led the Red Sox with two hits and a walk, while Kevin Heller went 0-for-4, snapping his 15-game reaching base streak.
Salem and Lynchburg reunite on Thursday night, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 at LewisGale Field.