Dash Hoping to Get Back on Track in Friday Night Tilt with Aberdeen
WINSTON-SALEM, NC - Trailing 1-2 in the series homestand against the Aberdeen IronBirds, the Winston-Salem Dash look to get back on track Friday night in game four. The Dash have lost back-to-back contests, mustering only four runs combined in that span.
Thursday night, Winston-Salem hurler Johan Dominguez pitched a clean three innings in his rehab start, but the IronBirds jumped on reliever Chase Plymell, who surrendered three runs and was charged with the loss. A Wilfred Veras solo shot in the 6th proved not enough to kickstart a rally as the Dash fell 4-1.
What to Watch in Game 4
Like game three, where each starter tossed a trio of shutout innings, Friday night's matchup could provide a second-consecutive duel on the mound. Jonathan Cannon is slated to get the start for Winston-Salem as the righty looks to maintain his unblemished 4-0 record.
Sporting a 2.80 ERA to go along with 26 strikeouts - third on the team - Cannon has been one of the more reliable options for the Dash thus far. Against an Aberdeen offense that has plated eight runs per game in three outings this series, reliability on the mound will be crucial for Winston-Salem to knot the series.
As for the IronBirds, righty Cooper Chandler will be getting the start. The 24-year-old has tossed 20 innings this season, compiling a 1-2 record, a 3.15 ERA and totaling 21 strikeouts. Chandler has seen a significant uptick in his numbers since 2022, especially in the strikeout department. The Rice University product has increased his K/9 from 6.75 in 2022 to 9.45 this season.
After the Dash rocked Aberdeen to the tune of 8 runs in game one, the bats have slowed down since. Despite displaying capabilities as a reliable starter, Chandler has been overshadowed by the rest of the staff - five IronBirds boast a sub 2.50 ERA.
Nonetheless, if he can maintain his recent production, the Dash will need to return to their game one form to change their fortunes.
Keys for the Dash
At the plate, Winston-Salem has struggled to string together hits and consistent at-bats in the last two outings. They have managed only 10 total hits in those two games, with the top half of the lineup struggling to get on base at a high clip.
Veras' Thursday night homer marked the only extra base hit of the night for the Dash, and the hosts batted 0-3 with runners in scoring position. Despite the dip in production, Terrell Tatum, Loidel Chapelli and DJ Gladney have displayed an ability to be a nightmare first three batters for opposing pitchers.
If Cannon and the bullpen can keep shortstop Jackson Holliday and the rest of the IronBirds relatively quiet, it will be up to the bats to take over and propel the Dash to a win. First pitch is set for 7 p.m. from Truist Stadium, and the game will be presented by NC529, who are sponsoring the ballpark's Princess Night.
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