Salem Red Sox rally, stun P-Nats
Salem (59-40, 16-14) entered the ninth trailing 4-3 and faced Potomac (54-44, 20-10) closer Gilberto Mendez. After the first out was recorded, the Red Sox had six straight men reach base to surge ahead. Rafael Devers started the rally with a single to right before Nick Longhi walked. Mike Meyers then launched a fly ball to left that Bryan Mejia misplayed into a game-tying ground-rule double.
Danny Mars then served the first pitch he saw over the drawn-in infield to plate Longhi and give Salem a 5-4 edge. Jordan Procyshen and Deiner Lopez added insurance with RBI singles, growing the lead to 7-4. Simon Mercedes struck out the side in the last of the ninth to complete the stunning victory.
The late rally marked Salem’s first win this season when trailing after eight innings, improving to 1-31 in such situations. The last at-bat victory, though, was the 16th for the Red Sox this season.
Prospect pitchers Trey Ball and Erick Fedde highlighted the early portion of the game by escaping numerous jams. Salem was finally able to push across the game’s first run in the third inning with a two-out RBI single from Longhi.
Neither Ball nor Fedde lasted past the fifth inning, racking up high pitch counts despite a lack of runs scored. Ball worked into the fifth for the first time in four starts, but left with two on and one out. Anyelo Leclerc entered and allowed an inherited run to score on an RBI single from Jose Marmolejos, knotting the game at one.
In total, Ball yielded a run on six hits in 4.1 innings, walked three and struck out two. Fedde gave up a single tally on seven hits in five innings of work.
With the game tied, Salem moved back ahead on a Procyshen RBI single in the top of the sixth. The advantage was short-lived, though, as Leclerc walked the first three batters in the sixth, leading to three runs and a 4-2 lead for the Nationals.
Jorge Marban allowed two of the inherited runners to score, but was otherwise dominant out of the bullpen. Marban (1-0) tossed three scoreless innings with two hits and a strikeout.
Procyshen launched a solo homer in the top of the eighth to slice the deficit to 4-3, setting the table for the ninth inning rally. The round-tripper was part of a career night for the Red Sox backstop. Finishing a triple shy of the cycle, Procyshen set a new career high with four hits while tying a career best with three RBI.
Mendez (2-3) suffered his third defeat in as many appearances against the Red Sox. He allowed four runs on five hits in the only inning of work, blowing his first save of the season.
Game two of the series is set for Tuesday night at 7:05 pm. Travis Lakins (6-3, 5.65) gets the ball for the Red Sox against Matthew Crownover (1-4, 4.87) for the Nationals. Follow along with all the action on the Salem Red Sox Baseball Network, with pre-game coverage beginning at 6:45 pm.