A crisp summer night set the stage for Friday nights game-two against the Winston-Salem Dash. Looking to duplicate Thursday night’s pounding, the Salem Red Sox turned it on late, heavily and suddenly to snatch the lead and the win away from the Dash; prevailing 10-4.
Despite an early lead for the Dash, Salem used the most of every opportunity to battle their way back and put themselves in a position to sweep the series tomorrow (Saturday) night.
A Clunker Car Giveaway…what is that you ask?
Well, a Clunker Car is one of those cars that “everyone” dreams of (not really). But, it is free so who can turn down a free car…? Not I.
The car was a 1992 navy blue Pontiac Bonneville (not the terrible car they made it out to be, in my opinion.) But, it was an out of town fan, Matt, that won the car and had quite the prize to pack up and take home with him.
But, back to the diamond…
The Sox came alive in the fourth inning and were finally able to put two runs up on the scoreboard and narrow the Winston-Salem lead down to two.
It was Mookie Betts who got hit by a pitch (teams should know by now not to put Betts on base), and naturally stole second to get into scoring position. Matt Gedman followed up and ripped a single to score Betts from second and then Henry Ramos launched a ball to the wall that was good for a RBI double.
Fact: Matt Gedman has now recorded a hit in 18 of his last 19 games, pretty impressive!
“I’m just trying to do it day by day. Not trying to worry about tomorrow,” said Gedman “It’s the team attitude and not worrying about yourself and the results, just trying to play the game and whatever happens will happen.”
Déjà vu? I thought so.
The sixth inning did it to me. It gave me flashbacks from last night as the Sox plated a touchdown (seven) in a matter of about twenty minutes!
Out of the 11 batters that stepped in the batters box during the inning, nine of them made it around every bag to score.
It all got started with a trio of singles from Gedman, Koback, and Blair. Ramos reached first base on an error that scored Gedman to tie the game at 4. Marrero was then walked which brought home a run and gave Salem their very first lead 5-4.
And following a controversial De La Cruz lineout to first base (and double play that wasn’t called for the Dash) that came to the distraught of Winston-Salem manager, Ryan Newman, resulting in him getting tossed from the game after a few choice words with the umpire.
(This really got Sox fans hyped up and gave Salem full advantage it terms of momentum)
Stefan Welch then stepped in and cranked a RBI double to give the Sox a 6-4 lead.
For the record, the most runs the Salem Sox have EVER scored in an inning was nine…they got pretty darn close tonight in the sixth as they notched seven. I can honestly say I’ve never seen a Salem crowd as excited during an inning of play as they were tonight!
This is also a very, very good sign as the Sox are not only battling for a playoff spot but, also to get back to a .500 record for the entire season.
The Sox refused to give in. RHP Mike Augliera continued to throw hard and posted five scoreless innings after the Dash took the early lead. Augliera left it up to his offense to step in and do work, which they obviously did. After taking the lead, Augliera was then eligible to get the win and the pitching staff left it up to LHP Robby Scott to close out the night.
Scott was able to come in for the final two frames and record the save in a timely-fashion. Not giving up any runs, Scott proved himself to be a reliable closer as the Sox near playoff-play.
And with another team wide performance came another dominant win for Salem. I’m sold on the fact that the guys know that to win and compete in the post-season; it has to be an all-around effort from the bottom to top of the order.
“We’re just trying to win some games down the stretch as we are in the playoff race right now. As many wins as we can get here, it helps and puts pressure on the teams ahead of us. That’s what we’re trying to do right now,” said Gedman. “Offensively and defensively we’re having good team at bats and pitchers are throwing strikes and we’re making the plays behind him.”
Saturday night will feature Will Middlebrook “Bobblehead Night” where the first 1,000 fans will get free Red Sox memorabilia. I, myself, will not be able to attend the game as I will be doing some other work for the Roanoker blogs throughout the day on Saturday but, once Salem is back in town on Saturday, August 16, I’ll be in and all around Salem Memorial Ballpark.