The Salem Red Sox took a huge lead early and got a terrific outing from their starter, but couldn’t hang on against the Down East Wood Ducks, falling 7-6 on Opening Day at Haley Toyota Field in Salem.
The Red Sox (0-1) raced out to a 6-0 lead after the fifth inning, but surrendered seven runs over the final two frames to drop the season opener. The Wood Ducks (1-0) began their franchise history in exciting fashion, earning the comeback victory in the first game ever for the team.
Salem opened the scoring in the bottom of the third inning against Wood Ducks starter Joe Palumbo (ND), who issued a leadoff walk to Deiner Lopez. Lopez swiped second, and scooted to third when shortstop Josh Morgan couldn’t handle the throw from catcher Chuck Moorman. Palumbo then walked Bryan Hudson and Tate Matheny, loading the bases with nobody out. Josh Tobias fanned, but with Michael Chavis batting, Palumbo spun a wild pitch past Moorman, allowing Lopez to score and the other runners to advance to second and third. With two outs, Josh Ockimey bounced a grounder to short, but Morgan’s throw to first was errant, and Ockimey reached safely as Hudson sped home to run the lead to 2-0.
The Sox blew the game open in the bottom of the fifth against Down East reliever Blake Bass. Matheny singled with one out, and Josh Tobias reached when Josh Altmann bobbled his grounder at third base. Chavis cracked a single into right, scoring Matheny and advancing Tobias to second. That brought Ockimey to the dish, and the first baseman powered a huge opposite-field blast to bring home three runs and make it a 6-0 lead for Salem.
Down East began to chip away in the top of the eighth against Salem reliever Yankory Pimentel, as Yonder La O blasted a solo homer to left field to cut the lead to 6-1. However, the wheels really came off the wagon for Salem in the top of the ninth. Reliever Mitchell Osnowitz walked Morgan to begin the inning, then allowed a double to Frandy de la Rosa, putting runners on second and third. A wild pitch scored Morgan, and Altmann singled home de la Rosa. Moorman doubled Altmann to third, ending Osnowitz’s outing. Adam Lau (BS, 1) (L, 0-1) fanned the first two batters he faced, but Eduard Pinto singled to score Moorman, and Jairo Beras hammered a two-run homer to left, putting Down East ahead 7-6 in stunning fashion. Salem went in order in the ninth, as Ricardo Rodriguez (W, 1-0) locked down the surprising victory.
Travis Lakins (ND) fired a masterful start for Salem, allowing just four hits in 5.1 frames and matching a career high with nine strikeouts. Pimentel allowed a run on three hits and a walk in 2.2 innings, fanning one. Osnowitz was tagged for four runs on three hits and a walk without recording an out. Lau took the loss, surrendering two runs on two hits while fanning two in an inning of action.
The Sox will look to get in the win column Friday night, with lefty Matt Kent on the hill for Salem against Wood Ducks righty Pedro Payano. It’s Freedom Friday, presented by Freedom First Credit Union! The players will don special military themed jerseys and each Friday concludes with post-game fireworks, sponsored by iHeartMedia. Plus, the first 500 fans every Friday, Saturday and Sunday will receive a FREE Player Poster, presented by Med Express. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m., and Ben Gellman has the call on the Red Sox Radio Network starting at 6:45 p.m. for the pregame show.
The Carolina League All-Star Game returns to Salem on Tuesday, June 20 at Haley Toyota Field. As part of a celebration of 50 years of Carolina League baseball in the Roanoke Valley, the Red Sox will host a skills competition on Monday, June 19. The skills competition will take place at historic Kiwanis Field, the original home of Carolina League baseball in Salem. All 2017 Salem Red Sox season ticket holders will have tickets to the skills competition and the All-Star Classic at Haley Toyota Field included in their ticket package.
Posted By Valerie Garner
Categories: Local Events
Tags: Red Sox, sports