Sox Blister Blue Rocks in 10-1 Rout Friday
WILMINGTON, DE - Darwinzon Hernandez kept dealing scoreless frames while Trenton Kemp and Jerry Downs bashed two-run dingers Friday night, and the Salem Red Sox rolled to a huge 10-1 victory over the Wilmington Blue Rocks at Frawley Stadium.
Salem (13-9, 45-45) registered their biggest margin of victory of the year in the win, topping their previous high of seven runs. The Blue Rocks (11-9, 42-48) only dispelled the shutout in the bottom of the the eighth inning, after they had already fallen behind by 10 runs. Hernandez (W, 6-5) ran his scoreless-innings streak to 16.2 straight frames, the longest such streak of the year for any Salem pitcher. Kemp homered for his fourth straight game, matching Jordan Betts' streak in 2017 for the longest stretch in the Red Sox era.
The Sox opened the scoring in the top of the second against Wilmington starting pitcher Andres Sotillet (L, 0-1. With Mike Osinski at first and two away, Sotillet plunked Downs, allowing him to tie the franchise record for being hit by a pitch in a season (17 times). That put runners at first and second for Kemp, who singled to left, bringing Osinski home. Chris Madera cracked a single of his own to left to load the bases, but Tyler Hill bounced out on a bang-bang play to end the inning with the Sox ahead 1-0.
Salem put together a couple more runs in the top of the fourth. Ryan Scott started the inning with a single, and Osinski fanned for the first out. Downs crushed the first pitch he saw out to right field for a two-run homer, his sixth of the year, and gave Salem a 3-0 lead.
The Sox broke it wide open in the top of the seventh. Reliever Corey Ray walked Downs to begin the frame, and Kemp mashed a two-run tater to left. Madera followed that with a double, and Hill worked a walk to put runners on first and second. Brett Netzer and Roldani Baldwin fanned, but Hill and Madera executed a double steal, and C.J. Chatham sliced a single into left to score the runners and chase Ray from the game. New reliever Justin Camp fared little better, as Scott singled Chatham to second, and Osinski lashed a double to left, scoring both Scott and Chatham. Downs fanned to end the frame with the Sox in front 9-0. Salem tacked on one more in the eighth, as Kemp doubled to lead off the inning before Hill plated him on a one-out sacrifice fly to run the score to 10-0.
The Blue Rocks finally got on the board in the bottom of the eighth inning; Travis Jones led off with a double against Salem reliever Jake Cosart, moved to third on a groundout by Meibrys Viloria, and came in to score when Baldwin lost track of a pitch for a passed ball to trim the lead to 10-1. That was as close as they would get, though, as they failed to score the rest of the way.
Hernandez was dazzling in five shutout frames, allowing just six hits and two walks while whiffing six batters. Yankory Pimentel worked around a hit and three walks in two scoreless innings of action, fanning four. Cosart surrendered an unearned run on one hit while recording three strikeouts over his two innings of work.
The Sox will look to keep the good times rolling Saturday night, as right-hander Daniel Gonzalez will make the start for Salem against Wilmington righty Ofreidy Gomez. First pitch at Frawley Stadium is scheduled for 6:05 p.m., and the pregame show with Ben Gellman and Suzie Cool begins at 5:45 p.m. on the Red Sox broadcast network.
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