Salem Red Sox outslugged by Wilmington, 11-7

salem red soxThe Wilmington Blue Rocks offense overpowered the Salem Red Sox in Saturday’s 11-7 victory at Frawley Stadium. The Rocks led 8-0 after two innings, chasing Salem starter Kyle Stroup from the action before he could complete the second. Wilmington starter Sam Selman finally experienced success against the Sox, dealing five scoreless to earn the win, with Wilmington’s bullpen delivering a shaky but satisfactory performance to hang on down the stretch.

Down 8-0 after six and 9-1 after seven, the Red Sox rallied for six runs in the top of the eighth to inch back within two. Blake Swihart crushed a two-run double with the bases loaded, while a dropped fly ball from Blue Rocks outfielder Ethan Chapman allowed another two runs to score. The Rocks made four errors in the game, leading to four unearned runs.

But despite the defensive miscues, the sticks were mighty enough for Wilmington to prevail. Lane Adams launched a two-run homer off Stroup in the last of the first, while the Rocks nickel and dimed Stroup for six runs on six hits in the last of the second. Five different Wilmington hitters drove in runs in their half of the second, with Jared Schlehuber’s blooper to right plating a pair to make it 8-0.

When the Sox scrapped to within two runs, the Blue Rocks countered against reliever Robby Scott. Chapman scored on a throwing error by Swihart that sailed into left field as the runner stole third. Later in the inning, Scott lost Lopez to a bases loaded walk, forcing home Daniel Mateo for Wilmington’s 11th and final run of the night

Five different Blue Rocks finished with two hits apiece, while Adams led the home team with three RBI. Deven Marrero and Keury De La Cruz joined Swihart with multi-hit nights. De La Cruz singled in the sixth and again in the eighth to extend his hitting streak to 18 games, the longest streak in the Carolina League this season.

Selman struck out six in five innings to earn his sixth win of the year, while Stroup suffered his fifth loss, allowing eight runs on eight hits in just an inning and two-thirds. Perhaps the best pitching performance of the night came from Salem reliever Noe Ramirez, who dealt three and a third scoreless and hitless innings out of the Red Sox pen. Ramirez struck out five and walked one, diminishing his ERA to 2.17 for the season.

Wilmington’s Saturday night win creates a Sunday afternoon rubber match, with Salem’s William Cuevas scheduled to oppose Blue Rocks righthander Kyle Zimmer. First pitch is slated for 1:35.

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