Pete Ruiz authored six excellent innings, Bryce Brentz delivered three hits and three RBI, and the Red Sox picked up their most convincing victory since April 27 in their 9-1 demolition of the Dash on Saturday evening at LewisGale Field. The eight-run triumph was Salem’s greatest winning margin since downing Kinston 16-6 in game one of a doubleheader in late April.
Ruiz faced just one more than the minimum over the first four frames and struck out a season-high seven Dash batters, allowing just one run on three hits in six innings to earn his fifth win of 2011. Winston scored once in the bottom of the fifth, taking advantage of back-to-back walks and plating a run via Daniel Wagner’s single. But the lone tally cut a five-run deficit to four, and Ruiz and a pair of Red Sox relievers would ensure that the Dash would fail to inch any closer.
Salem scored runs in five different innings, beginning in the second when David Mailman singled home Bryce Brentz to put the Sox on top 1-0. In the third, a pair of sac flies belted by Kolbrin Vitek and Brentz made it 3-0, and the Sox added two more in the fifth thanks to RBI singles from Zach Gentile and Shannon Wilkerson.
Seven different Red Sox scored and drove in runs on Saturday night, led by Brentz who went 3-4 with two doubles and three RBI. His second double of the day drove in one of the runs in Salem’s three-run seventh that stretched the lead to 8-1, and Brentz singled home another run in the eighth, giving the Sox an eight-run edge.
Wilkerson, Vitek, and Mailman each registered two-hit games and drove in a run, while Josue Peley and Zach Gentile also delivered RBI in the rout. Salem mustered 11 hits and took advantage of five walks and two hit-batters, possessing baserunners in six of their eight offensive innings.
Winston was held to five hits, all singles, by the trio of Red Sox hurlers. Ruiz dominated for six before Will Latimer tossed a scoreless seventh and Chris Martin handled the final two frames, retiring six of the seven he faced in his fourth straight scoreless appearance since arriving to Salem.
Dash starter Brad Furnish fell to 0-2 since signing with the White Sox organization. In two starts against Salem, he has composed a 14.29 ERA, getting tagged for nine earned runs in five and two-thirds innings. On Saturday night, Furnish lasted three and two-thirds before getting hooked, surrendering five runs on six hits, with two strikeouts and four walks.
Winners of eight of 11 since the 0-5 start to the second half, Salem hope to keep it rolling on Sunday afternoon, a 4:05 matinee ballgame at LewisGale Field. Chris Hernandez will make the start for the Sox opposite Jake Petricka for the Dash.