Sox Surge Past P-Nats 7-4 Tuesday
SALEM, VA - The Salem Red Sox bounced back from a hitless first five frames to score seven straight runs and earn a 7-4 win over the Potomac Nationals Tuesday night at Haley Toyota Field in Salem.
The Sox (8-5) snapped a three-game losing streak and matched their season-best in runs scored for the win. Potomac (7-6) blew a 4-0 lead and a chance to take sole control of the lead for the Northern Division. Salem batted around for the first time all season in the eighth inning, scoring just one fewer run in Tuesday's game than they had in their previous 36 offensive innings.
Both offenses were held in check until Potomac broke through in the top of the fifth against Salem starting pitcher Jake Thompson (ND). Carter Kieboom found his way aboard with two outs when he lined a single to center, and Austin Davidson rocked a Thompson fastball over the right-field wall for a home run. The round-tripper was Davidson's first of the season, and it put the P-Nats ahead 2-0.
Potomac extended their edge in the top of the sixth against Salem reliever Joan Martinez, who gave up consecutive doubles with one out to Rhett Wiseman and Jack Sundberg, followed by a single from Edwin Lora. The skein of hits ran the lead to 4-0 for Potomac.
After Potomac starter Joan Baez (ND) held the hosts to just one hit and one walk through five innings, Salem finally scored in the bottom of the sixth against reliever Mariano Rivera III. With one out, Santiago Espinal and Brett Netzer ripped back-to-back triples, and Jerry Downs delivered a two-out single to plate Netzer. Rivera fired a wild pitch that kicked far away from catcher Tres Barrera, and Downs hustled into third ahead of the throw from Barrera. Tyler Hill delivered, slapping a single to center that sent Downs home and trimmed Potomac's lead to 4-3.
The Sox rocketed ahead in the bottom of the eighth inning. Espinal led off with a single to right-center off lefty reliever Hayden Howard (L, 0-1), and Netzer bunted him to second base. The Nationals elected to intentionally walk Bobby Dalbec, but Downs made them pay for that decision, slicing a single to center that scored Espinal to tie the game.
Potomac manager Tripp Keister yanked Howard for fellow southpaw Jordan Mills, but the new arm didn't make much of a positive impact, as Hill lashed a two-run triple just past the outstretched glove of center fielder Blake Perkins that scored Dalbec and Downs. Hill was cut down at the plate for the second out trying to score on a soft grounder to the right side by Chris Madera, but Mills came unglued, walking Kyri Washington and Ryan Scott to load the bases. Nick Sciortino eked out a walk of his own to bring Madera in and run the lead to 7-4 before Espinal struck out to end the inning. Daniel Gonzalez (W, 1-0) allowed a leadoff hit to Telmito Agustin in the top of the ninth, but set down the next three in order to lock down the victory for Salem.
Thompson surrendered two runs on eight hits in 4.2 innings, whiffing five. Martinez gave up two runs on three hits and two walks in 2.1 frames and struck out two. Gonzalez allowed just two hits while recording three strikeouts in two shutout frames, notching the win.
The Sox will try to take the series win in Wednesday morning's tilt, with southpaw Darwinzon Hernandez drawing the start for Salem against P-Nats righty Tyler Mapes. First pitch from Haley Toyota Field is at 11:05 a.m., and the pregame show with Ben Gellman and Suzie Cool begins at 10:45 a.m. on the Red Sox radio network.
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