Salem Red Sox silence Blue Rocks, 5-1

salem red soxMichael Kopech carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning while complexly dominating the Wilmington Blue Rocks in a 6-1 triumph for the Salem Red Sox on Tuesday night at Frawley Stadium.

In his sixth start with Salem (64-43, 21-17), Kopech (1-1) shined while tying a career high with six innings pitched. The righthander retired the first seven he faced, including four strikeouts, before allowing a two-out walk in the third inning. Kopech responded by retiring the next seven hitters with four more strikeouts sprinkled in. He whiffed at least one batter in each inning, including striking out the side in the fourth.

The lone hit he yielded was a soft single up the middle from Austin Bailey with two outs in the fifth inning. Kopech then retired the next four hitters, punctuating his outing by picking up his 10th strikeout for the final out in the sixth. The 2014 first round pick earned his first win of 2016 in the process, tossing 78 pitches, 53 of which were strikes. The 10 strikeouts marked a new career-high for the 20-year-old.

Salem was held in check for the most part while Kopech was on the bump, scratching across only a first-inning run on a two-out single from Mike Meyers that scored Joseph Monge. Wilmington (39-68, 12-26) starter Andy Ferguson allowed just four hits in his six innings of work, but was dealt the loss to fall to 0-2.

The Red Sox put the game away with five runs in the seventh inning against the Blue Rocks bullpen. Jordan Procyshen brought home the first run of the frame with an RBI double to left field. A walk and single loaded the bases with two outs before a pair of bases loaded walks to Monge and Reed Gragnani grew the advantage to 4-0. Rafael Devers then provided the capper with a two-run single to right field, which put Salem ahead 6-0.

Jorge Marban tossed a scoreless seventh inning before yielding a run in the last of the eighth on an RBI groundout by Carlos Diaz. Jamie Callahan pitched a scoreless ninth to nail down the second straight victory for the Sox.

Salem will look to sweep the series from Wilmington on Wednesday night at 6:35 pm. Matt Kent (8-5, 3.31) will toe the rubber for the Red Sox against Matt Tenuta (4-8, 5.90) for the Blue Rocks. Follow along with all the action on the Salem Red Sox Baseball Network, with pre-game coverage beginning at 6:15 pm.

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