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Salem drops Sunday finale to Down East, 9-3

Salem drops Sunday finale to Down East, 9-3

SALEM, VA (WSET/Salem Red Sox) – The Salem Red Sox had trouble containing the bats of the visiting Down East Wood Ducks Sunday afternoon, falling 9-3 at Haley Toyota Field at Salem Memorial Ballpark.

The Red Sox (1-3) allowed runs in six consecutive innings (and seven overall), and committed three errors in the game. Down East (3-1) won the first series in franchise history, and head back to Kinston for their home opener tomorrow.

Down East opened the scoring in the top of the second against Salem starter Roniel Raudes (L, 0-1). Frandy De La Rosa drew a one-out walk, and moved to third on a double by Michael O'Neill. With Chuck Moorman at the plate, Raudes uncorked a slider that drew a swinging strikeout but got past Austin Rei to the backstop. De La Rosa scored, and Rei's throw to first was wild, allowing Moorman to reach safely. Meanwhile, O'Neill sped home to make it 2-0 in favor of the Wood Ducks.

Salem answered in the bottom of the frame against Wood Ducks hurler Wes Benjamin. Rei led off with a double, and advanced to third on a single by Chad De La Guerra. Chris Madera socked a double to deep right field, plating Rei and sending De La Guerra to third base. Deiner Lopez cracked a chopper to third base for a 5-3 groundout that allowed De La Guerra to score, evening the score at 2-2.

Down East put pressure on Salem in the third and fourth, as a solo shot from Luis Mendez and a two-run blast by Josh Altmann made it 5-2 for the Wood Ducks. Lopez answered with a solo homer of his own in the bottom of the fourth off new reliever Brady Feigl (W, 1-0), trimming the margin to 5-3.

Down East kept pouring on the scoring against reliever Yankory Pimentel in the fifth inning, as Jairo Beras led off with a double before scoring on an error by second baseman Josh Tobias to make it 6-3. In the sixth, Altmann singled to lead off the frame, and advanced to second on a single by Luis La O. Josh Morgan bounced into a double play that moved Altmann to third, and Eduard Pinto singled him home to run the lead to 7-3.

In the seventh, De La Guerra muffed a grounder to allow Mendez to reach to against new reliever Mitchell Osnowitz. With two outs, Moorman doubled to left-center. The two-bagger brought Mendez home, and Down East headed to the stretch up 8-3. The Wood Ducks added another run in the top of the ninth against new arm Adam Lau, who gave up a two-out single to Moorman to allow Mendez to score for the final margin of 9-3. Blake Bass pitched the final three innings in scoreless fashion for Down East to earn the save.

Raudes surrendered five runs on six hits and two walks over four innings in his Salem debut, striking out three. Pimentel fanned three in two innings but allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits. Osnowitz struck out three and gave up an unearned run on one hit in two innings. Lau gave up a run on a hit and two walks in his only inning of work, striking out two.

The Sox hit the road Monday, with lefty Dedgar Jimenez getting the start against righty Shao-Ching Chiang of the Lynchburg Hillcats.

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