After grabbing four wins in seven games on their latest week-long road trip, the Salem Red Sox returned home to face off with their cross-town rival, the Lynchburg Hillcats. And although the Hillcats scored first and last, the Sox were able to power their way to victory; wining 4-2
(Back to the ballpark it was for me... and back to eating the best chicken basket that’s sold in the Carolina League! Even though I haven't tried any other ballparks...I'd bet the tenders would be quite competitive in any sort of challenge)
It sure was a windy Wednesday. Gusts so strong, the stadium flags whipped consistently throughout the evening thus becoming a moderate benefit for the Salem hitters.
Aneury Tavarez utilized the wind first with a very well hit ball that carried over the fence and essentially put Salem in the drivers seat to victory. Tavarez’ two run shot deflated Lynchburg after the Hillcats had posted the first run in the first inning. Next to go yard for Salem was the clean up batter, David Chester, who flexed his bat in the inning after Tavarez’ home run. Chester’s home run was a solo shot in the fifth inning that increased Salem's lead to three; 4-1.
Before heading to the seventh inning, the Salem production crew ran a video on the big screen named 'Chimpanzee riding a Segway'…
No, I had never seen it. No, I couldn’t believe my eyes. But, I just couldn’t help but laugh (along with a handful of others who were also in the press box).
Never seen it? Check out this link here for yourself!
Capping off the win for Salem was their team defense behind stellar pitching. When the pitcher couldn’t catch a break, field players would focus and make the right play. When a field player would make a mistake, the pitcher would bear down and get the batter.
It was a well-put together combination that wasn’t phased when Lynchburg scored in the ninth inning, giving Salem a minor scare. The combination the Sox generated on Wednesday evening could also be related to the starting lineup in which the team manager, Carlos Febles, assembled.
Following the last home stand for Salem, Febles spoke to me on players who have suffered hindering injuries early in the season (Gragnani, Tavarez) along with their importance to being in the lineup and what it will mean to have them back in the rotation.
On behalf of the fans, it was rather pleasing to see the home win, as the Sox have been much better away from LewisGale Field so far this season. With an away record of 8-3 and a home record of 3-5 (including tonight’s win), it's hard not to notice how much more the team scores and wins outside of Salem.
Winning five of their last six and riding a wave of recent momentum, the Sox will host game two (of three) against Lynchburg on Thursday night at 7p.m. This will be the second Thursday Happy Hour of the 2014 season (the first one was packed) along with pregame music which is featured an hour before ever Thursday home game. They will also feature “College Night” on Thursday with college attire being a focal point along with college food creations.
The Sox will be in town until next Tuesday (April 29) with a full slate of games and new promotions to offer for the fans so don’t miss the action!
Last thing, I will have more Insider Extra interviews coming this week but, I’d like to know…which player would you like to get to know most? Check the roster, think about it and then comment on this post or tweet me (@dferg06) and we’ll see if we can’t get some Insider info for you.