Salem Red Sox power past Lynchburg Hillcats, 9-3
The Red Sox (86-51, 43-25) took a 2-0 lead against Lynchburg starter Sean Brady (12-6) in the top of the second thanks to a Jordan Betts home run. With Jose Sermo at first, the third baseman launched a 1-2 pitch over the centerfield wall for his fourth round-tripper of the year. Betts finished the game 2-for-4 with a double, home run, two RBIs and two runs scored.
Salem broke things open against the Hillcats (83-55, 38-30) in the top of the third. With the bases loaded and nobody out, Nick Longhi grounded a single into center to plate Luis Basabe, and three pitches later, Sermo brought home two with a single. Jordan Procyshen and Jayce Ray added RBI singles to expand the Red Sox’ advantage to 7-0.
Pitching with a comfortable lead, Daniel McGrath allowed a run to Lynchburg in the bottom of the third, when Connor Marabell doubled and scored on a Francisco Mejia groundout to cut the deficit to 7-1.
McGrath (8-6) allowed a one out home run to Anthony Santander in the bottom of the sixth, narrowing the gap to 7-2. He walked Bobby Bradley before Bobby Poyner was summoned from the bullpen to finish the inning.
The Red Sox tacked on a pair of insurance runs in the top of the eighth inning against reliever Dominic DeMasi. Luis Basabe and Bryan Hudson delivered back-to-back run-scoring hits padding Salem’s lead to 9-2. Basabe and Hudson each had three hits, and combined to score three runs and collect two RBIs.
Poyner allowed only one run to score in his 3.2 innings of relief, earning his fourth save of the season with the Red Sox.
The 86 wins for Salem are the second-most in franchise history, one shy of the record set by the 1974 Salem Pirates. The victory over the Hillcats also ensured the Red Sox of having the best overall record in the Carolina League this season.
Salem continues the series at Lynchburg on Sunday afternoon at 2 pm. LHP Matt Kent (10-7, 3.72) gets the starting nod for the Red Sox, while the Hillcats counter with RHP Brock Hartson (2-1, 4.44). Follow along with all the coverage on the Salem Red Sox Baseball Network, with pre-game coverage beginning at 1:45 pm.