Salem routs Myrtle Beach, 9-3, for 5th straight win
SALEM, VA (WSET/Salem Red Sox) - The Salem Red Sox kept the good times rolling Friday night, getting their fifth straight win by mashing the visiting Myrtle Beach Pelicans 9-3 at Haley Toyota Field.
Salem (14-8) raced out to a 9-0 lead through five innings and never looked back, benefiting from a superb start from Roniel Raudes (W, 2-1). The Pelicans (7-15) went 2-12 with runners in scoring position, and didn’t cross the plate until the seventh inning. The Sox have scored 37 runs over the winning streak, helping the team to a 1.5 game lead in the Northern Division standings.
Salem opened the scoring in the bottom of the third against Pelicans starter Bryan Hudson (L, 2-2), who gave up a leadoff single to Chris Madera before the runner moved to second on a groundout by Santiago Espinal. Brett Netzer flew out to right, allowing Madera to tag up and reach third. Bobby Dalbec came through in the clutch spot, lining a single to center to score Madera and put the Sox ahead 1-0.
The hosts blew the game open in the bottom of the fourth inning. Ryan Scott and Trenton Kemp rapped consecutive singles with one away, and Madera drew a two-out walk to load the bases. Espinal shredded a triple past the dive of center fielder Connor Myers to plate all three runners. Brett Netzer then singled through the middle, scoring Espinal and running the lead to 5-0.
Salem kept their bats hot in the bottom of the fifth against reliever Ryan Kellogg, who walked Downs to lead off the frame before Kyri Washington singled to right to put runners at first and second. Kemp hit a grounder to third, but Vimael Machin’s throw to first was wild and skipped into right field. Downs scored, Washington sped to third, and Kemp made it all the way to second on the miscue. The Sox made the most of the opportunity, as consecutive sacrifice flies by Nick Sciortino and Madera ran the Salem lead to 9-0.
Myrtle Beach finally broke up the shutout in the top of the seventh against new Salem reliever Jared Oliver, who walked Austin Upshaw to lead off the inning before throwing two wild pitches that moved Upshaw up to third. With one away, Chris Pieters singled Upshaw home to make it a 9-1 game.
The Pelicans added another run in the top of the eighth, as P.J. Higgins and Machin cracked consecutive singles to start the inning. Tyler Alamo lifted a fly ball to center which Madera caught, and Higgins tagged up to go to third. Espinal threw wildly on the relay, and the error let Higgins scoot home to trim the lead to 9-2. Myrtle Beach got another in the ninth off new reliever Hunter Smith, who surrendered a leadoff double to Andruw Monasterio before Myers plated the runner with a two-out single. Smith recovered to retire Higgins, and end the game with Salem ahead 9-3.
Raudes was terrific in his six shutout innings, allowing just two hits and a walk while fanning three and hitting two batters. Oliver gave up two runs (one earned) on three hits and a walk in two frames, whiffing a season-best four batters. Smith surrendered a run on two hits in his only inning of work.
The Sox will try to keep their success going Saturday night, with righty Jake Thompson getting the start for Salem against Pelicans righty Alex Lange. First pitch from Haley Toyota Field is at 6:05 p.m