Winston-Salem holds off late Salem rally, wins 10-8

salem red soxThe struggling Winston-Salem offense erupted for eight runs in the first inning, only to see Salem nearly fight all the way back. Late in the game, the Salem Red Sox had numerous chances with the tying or go-ahead man at the plate, but the final clutch hit was never discovered, and the Dash hung on to prevail 10-8 on Easter Sunday at BB&T Ballpark. The Winston win snapped the team’s six-game losing streak, while Salem’s roll of three straight victories also came to a close.
The pivotal moment in the contest came in the top of the seventh, when the Sox crept within two at 9-7 and loaded the bases with one out against Jefferson Olacio. Euclides Leyer emerged from the bullpen and induced an inning-ending double play from Mario Martinez, squelching Salem’s momentum and stranding the tying runs in scoring position. The Sox brought the tying run to the plate again the ninth, but Reed Gragnani, who finished with three hits, bounced into a game-ending double play to wrap it up.
Winston’s remarkable first inning unfolded fast and furious, with the Dash having runners at second and third just two pitches into the frame. Sox starter William Cuevas yielded hits on his first two tosses, then worked the count full against Courtney Hawkins, who launched a three-run homer to put the Dash in front. Later in the inning, Martin Medina belted a two-run double, Grant Buckner smacked an RBI single, and Tim Anderson crushed a two-run opposite field blast of his own to stretch the lead to 8-0.
Cuevas lasted just 10 batters, recording only two outs. But Salem nearly got him off the hook, chipping away by scoring twice in the second and twice more in the third. The Dash made it 9-4 after six, before Salem’s rally in the seventh surged the Sox within two. The Dash added another insurance run against reliever Kyle Martin in the seventh, providing the cushion to the two-run win.
Both shortstops enjoyed fine offensive days, with Ryan Dent powering the Red Sox with three extra-base hits and three runs, while the Dash got three hits and three RBI from Anderson. Adam Heisler also collected three hits for the Dash and is now batting .643 (9-for-14) in four games against Salem this year.
The Sox knocked around Dash starter J.B. Wendelken for four runs on nine hits over five innings, but Wendelken pitched well enough to earn the victory, improving to 2-1. Cuevas slipped to 1-2, allowing eight runs on seven hits and a walk in just two-thirds of a frame. In relief, Kyle Kraus performed admirably for the Sox, dealing five and a third out of the pen and allowing just one run on four hits.
The Red Sox will wrap up their week-long road trip on Monday night in Winston-Salem, with Luis Diaz set to throw against Brad Goldberg. First pitch is slated for 7 PM.

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