Salem Red Sox outslug Myrtle Beach

The Salem Red Sox pounded 13 hits, seven for extra bases, and scored 11 times in the first five innings to snap a three-game losing streak and snag an 11-5 victory over Myrtle Beach in the opener of a four-game series at LewisGale Field.

Both Brandon Jacobs and Michael Almanzar finished a triple shy of the cycle, while Heiker Meneses delivered a two-run triple and a three-run double to send home a total of five runs on Monday night. The Pelicans scored in four straight innings against Salem starter Yeiper Castillo, but the Sox righthander minimized the damage and embraced the overwhelming run support to earn his second straight win.

The Pelicans took a 1-0 lead on Christian Villanueva’s leadoff homer in the top of the second, but Jacobs retaliated with a leadoff bomb in the bottom of the second to even the score at one. In a quirky coincidence, both Villanueva and Jacobs led off with their nine homer of the season, while each drove in his 49th RBI. But the inning similarities ended  there. Two batters after Jacobs’ jack, Almanzar launched a solo shot of his own to give Salem a 2-1 lead. Later in the frame, Meneses crushed a two-RBI triple to the gap in right-center, and Shannon Wilkerson singled him home to make it 5-1.

Both teams scored twice in the third, with Salem emerging up 7-3 after three. The Pelicans crept back within two using single tallies in the fourth and fifth innings, but Salem’s four-run last of the fifth broke it open. With one out and the bases juiced, Meneses missed a grand slam by just a foot or so, driving a deep fly off the very top of the left-center field fence to drive in three runs. Credited with a double, Meneses advanced to third on the throw home, and the Sox led 10-5. One batter later, Wilkerson’s sac fly plated Meneses to give the Sox a six-run edge.

Castillo improved to 2-1 and now owns a 2.25 ERA in four Carolina League starts after surrendering five runs (four earned) on seven hits in five innings. In relief, Manny Rivera tossed four scoreless innings to earn his second save.

The victory brought the Sox back within eight games of the first-place Pelicans in the second half Southern Division standings.

Augusta Health Kris McMackin CPA
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Augusta Free Press