Sox offense powers W

Drew Hedman went 2-for-2 with a homer and three RBI, pacing the Red Sox offense in Wednesday’s midday 7-5 triumph over the Dash at LewisGale Field.

The victory guarantees Salem a series victory and creates some breathing room in the Southern Division, lifting the Sox a game and a half ahead of Winston-Salem heading into Thursday’s series finale. Ryan Pressly did not match his most recent performance of seven scoreless innings, but the righthander battled and completed five innings to earn the win, allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits. Ruben Flores allowed one run in relief, but Pete Ruiz continued his dominating season with three shutout frames to earn his first save of the year.

After the Dash scored a run in the top of the first, Salem quickly countered with a pair in the home half. Jackie Bradley, Jr. led off with a double, advanced to third on Sean Coyle’s groundout, and scored on Travis Shaw’s game-tying RBI single. After Xander Bogaerts doubled to move Shaw to third, Hedman drove in the first of his three runs with a sac fly to center, lifting the Sox to a 2-1 lead.

Winston retaliated with an unearned run in the top of the second, taking advantage of Coyle’s error, and Juan Silverio singled to drive in Brady Shoemaker to even the count at two. Things remained even into the fourth, when the Dash scored twice on an RBI double from Nick Ciolli and another clutch hit from Silverio. The Dash led 4-2, but just like the first inning, the advantage would be short lived.

Winston starter Ryan Buch did himself no favors when he walked the first two Sox hitters in the last of the fourth, and Michael Almanzar punished Buch by crushing a two-run, game-tying double to even the score at four and knock him out of the game. After Carson Blair’s single moved Almanzar to third, Felix Sanchez bounced into a 6-3 double play, but Almanzar scored from third to put the Sox ahead 5-4.

Salem would not trail again, swiping an unearned run in the fifth to lead 6-4 when Bogaerts reached on an error and Hedman singled him home. The Dash chopped the deficit back to one with a Daniel Wagner RBI single in the sixth, but Hedman launched his second homer of the year in the seventh, a two-out solo shot to right, lifting the Sox to the 7-5 score that would eventually be the final.

Hedman complemented his two hits with a sac fly and a walk, delivering four productive plate appearances to the Sox on Wednesday afternoon.  Shannon Wilkerson went 2-for-3 with a walk, while Almanzar finished 2-for-4 with two RBI. At the bottom of the Dash lineup, Silverio led the way with three hits  in four at-bats with two RBI.

The Salem Sox will send Matt Barnes to the mound on Thursday evening in search of a series sweep. After making seven straight starts on the road, Thursday will be Barnes’ first start at LewisGale Field. Winston will counter with Matt Heidenreich, and the first pitch is scheduled for 7:05.


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