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Sox Crush Keys 7-2 in Nightcap Wednesday

April 25, 2018 - Carolina League (CarL) - Salem Red Sox News Release

SALEM, VA - The Salem Red Sox didn't panic after giving up an early run, plating three runs in the second inning and four more in the fifth to rout the Frederick Keys 7-2 in Game 2 of their doubleheader Wednesday.

The Sox (12-8) got a fantastic outing from starter Tanner Houck (W, 1-2), who earned his first professional win and helped the team secure a twin bill sweep. Frederick (7-13) lost for the 10th time in their last 12 games; the Keys only got two hits in the game and three total in the doubleheader. It was the first doubleheader sweep for the Sox since they pulled it off on April 21, 2017 at Frederick, and their first home doubleheader sweep since June 28, 2016 against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans.

The Keys opened the scoring in the top of the first against Houck. Ryan McKenna hit a twisting fly up the right field line that Tyler Hill flubbed, allowing it to roll away and seeing McKenna race to second. Houck threw a wild pitch that sent McKenna to third, and Preston Palmeiro dropped a one-out single into left to score McKenna and put the Keys in front 1-0.

Salem surged in front in the bottom of the second against Frederick starting pitcher Cristian Alvarado (L, 2-2), who allowed a leadoff single to Hill. Ryan Scott lined a single to right, and Hill went to third on the single. Scott tried to reach second on the throw in from the outfield, and Jomar Reyes fired to second to try to get him. However, the throw was high and into right field, and Hill zipped home while Scott scooted to third. With one out, Carlos Tovar was hit by a pitch, and Santiago Espinal delivered a two-out double up the left-field line to score the runners and give the Sox a 3-1 lead.

Frederick crept closer in the top of the third inning. McKenna worked a one-out walk, and moved up to third on a single by Cole Billingsley. With two outs, the Keys successfully pulled off a double steal, bringing in McKenna for a run to cut Salem's margin to 3-2.

The Sox blew it wide open in the bottom of the fifth. Nick Sciortino lined a single to right to start the inning, and sped to third on a one-out single by Brett Netzer. Bobby Dalbec wrangled a walk from Alvarado to load the bases, and Jerry Downs hit a high chopper to the right side. First baseman J.C. Escarra couldn't make a play on the ball, and the RBI single plated Sciortino while keeping the bases loaded. Hill took full advantage, shredding a bases-clearing double to left to run the lead to 7-2, where it would stay.

Houck dominated in his fourth start of the season, allowing two runs (only one earned) on two hits and a walk while fanning a career-best six batters. Jordan Weems fired two scoreless frames of relief with two strikeouts against one walk.

The Sox will go for the series sweep Thursday night, with righty Bryan Mata getting the ball for the Sox against Frederick righty Lucas Humpal. First pitch from Haley Toyota Field is at 7:05 p.m., and the pregame show with Ben Gellman and Suzie Cool begins at 6:45 p.m. on the Red Sox broadcast network.

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