Salem starts road trip with win over Wood Ducks

4-run eighth inning leads to Red Sox win

KINSTON, NC – Courtesy: Salem Red Sox

The Salem Red Sox closed the month of June with a bang Saturday night, riding a Trenton Kemp homer and a four-run eighth inning to an 8-4 win over the Down East Wood Ducks at Grainger Stadium.

The Red Sox (5-4, 37-40) picked up their second straight win, with a huge eighth inning powering the team to victory again. The Wood Ducks (4-6, 39-41) briefly held the lead after a sloppy inning, but their relief corps let them down, handing the game to the Sox.

Neither team scored until the top of the fourth inning, when Salem broke through against Wood Ducks starting pitcher Yohander Mendez (ND). Tyler Hill singled to lead off the frame, and moved up to second when second baseman Brendon Davis booted Brett Netzer’s grounder, putting runners at first and second. C.J. Chatham singled through the middle, scoring Hill and advancing Netzer to second base. Jerry Downs flew out to center, and the runners tagged on the catch; Netzer made it to third, but Chatham was tagged out sliding into second. Mike Osinski laced a single to the left side, scoring Netzer and running the Salem lead to 2-0.

The Wood Ducks responded in force in the bottom of the fifth. Anderson Tejeda led off with a double to left against Salem starter Bryan Mata (ND), who then walked Chuck Leblanc and Brendon Davis with one out to load the bases. Melvin Novoa hit a bouncer to short that Chatham muffed, allowing Tejeda to score while keeping the bases loaded. Mata then plunked Alex Kowalczyk for an RBI hit-by-pitch that plated Leblanc and tied the game. Eric Jenkins hit a slow roller to the right side of the infield for a 4-3 groundout that scored Davis and gave the Wood Ducks the 3-2 advantage.

Salem drew level in the top of the fifth. Mendez plunked Jordan Procyshen with one out, and Chris Madera singled to right to move Procyshen to second base. Tyler Hill drew a walk to load the bases up, and Brett Netzer hit a sacrifice fly to right, scoring Procyshen. Madera was tagged out at third on the sacrifice fly, but Salem had tied it up at 3-3.

The Sox moved back in front in the top of the seventh against Wood Ducks reliever Samir Vivas (L, 0-1). With one out, Trenton Kemp slammed a fastball far beyond the left-field wall for a solo homer. It was Kemp’s fourth dinger of the year, and it put Salem back in front 4-3.

Salem blew the game wide open in the top of the eighth against new reliever Jairo Beras, as Chatham led off the frame with a single before swiping second base. Downs singled to right, and Chatham advanced to third. Osinski hit a bouncer to short, but Tejeda threw the ball away into right field; the error allowed Chatham to scoot home while Downs reached third and Osinski zipped to second. Ryan Scott hit a tapper back to the mound, and Beras got Downs out in a rundown between third and home; Scott made it to first and Osinski stayed at second on the fielder’s choice. However, Beras then hit Kemp with a pitch, loading the bases back up for Procyshen. The Sox catcher lofted a sacrifice fly to right, scoring Osinski. Madera put the exclamation point on the inning, shredding a double into the gap in left-center field to plate Kemp and Scott and give Salem an 8-3 lead. Down East got a run back in the bottom of the inning when Tejeda hit an opposite-field solo blast against reliever Algenis Martinez (W, 3-0), but the Sox held on from there to take the win.

Mata allowed three runs (two earned) on two hits and three walks over three innings, fanning three. Martinez earned the victory, allowing a run on two hits while striking out one over four innings of work. Harrison Cooney tossed a scoreless inning of relief in the ninth, striking out two and walking one.

The Sox will shoot for their third straight win Sunday afternoon, with righty Jake Thompson toeing the slab for Salem against Wood Ducks lefty Sal Mendez. First pitch at Grainger Stadium in Kinston is scheduled for 4 p.m., and the pregame show with Ben Gellman and Suzie Cool begins at 3:45 p.m. on the Red Sox broadcast network.