The Salem Red Sox took their worst loss of the 2017 season Saturday night, dropping a 13-3 decision to the Frederick Keys in front of a sellout crowd of 7,517 at Haley Toyota Field.
The Red Sox (34-21) fell one game shy of a four-game sweep in the series, allowing new season-worst marks in runs allowed (tied with April 26 at Lynchburg), hits (17), and earned runs (13). Frederick (25-28) snapped a five-game losing streak, and registered three innings of three runs or more. Josh Ockimey extended his career-best hitting streak to 18 games with an RBI single in the fourth inning.
Frederick began the scoring in the top of the second against Sox starting pitcher Daniel McGrath (L, 1-5). Alex Murphy doubled to lead off and scored on a two-bagger by Shane Hoelscher, who advanced to third on a wild pitch by McGrath before coming in on a groundout by Steve Laurino. Austin Hays reached on an infield single, and Ryan Mountcastle pounded a double of his own to plate Hays and run the lead to 3-0.
The Keys tacked on another in the top of the third, as Murphy slashed a two-out double to left and came in on a single by Hoelscher. Frederick added one more in the top of the fourth, as Ricardo Andujar led off with a single and raced home on a double by Austin Hays to make it 5-0.
Salem got on the board in the bottom of the fourth against Keys starter Cristian Alvarado (W, 3-6), as Chad De La Guerra cracked a one-out double to right and came in to score on a two-out single by Ockimey, trimming Frederick’s lead to 5-1.
Frederick extended their advantage in the top of the sixth against new reliever Mitchell Osnowitz, who gave up a leadoff double to Laurino before Andujar reached on a bunt single that moved Laurino to third. Hays singled Laurino in, and Andujar advanced to third on a wild pitch. Hays was caught on a double steal attempt, but Andujar was able to score. Osnowitz then walked Mountcastle, Randolph Gassaway and Ademar Rifaela to load the bases before Yermin Mercedes brought in Mountcastle with a sacrifice fly to left field, running the Frederick lead to 8-1.
The Sox got two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, as Kemp led off the frame with a double to left. With one out and new reliever Jay Flaa in the game, Austin Rei cracked a double of his own to left field, plating Kemp. After Bryan Hudson lined out, Jeremy Rivera sliced a frozen rope up the left field line for a third double to score Rei and make it an 8-3 game.
Frederick doubled their lead and secured the rout in the top of the eighth, as Sox reliever Austin Glorius allowed a leadoff double to Mountcastle before walking Gassaway and Rifaela to load the bases. Mercedes and Murphy each drew bases-loaded walks, and Hoelscher singled to plate Rifaela and Mercedes, chasing Glorius from the game. New reliever Trevor Kelley entered with runners at first and third, and Steve Laurino singled to third, bringing home Murphy to make it 13-3.
McGrath took the loss, surrendering five runs on ten hits in five innings while whiffing two. Osnowitz gave up three runs on three hits and three walks in one inning, recording one strikeout. Glorius allowed five runs on two hits and five walks in an inning and change. Kelley permitted two hits and struck out two in his two innings.
The Sox will open up a critical four-game series against the Lynchburg Hillcats with a doubleheader Sunday afternoon. Righty Shaun Anderson will pitch the opener for Salem against Lynchburg right-hander Brock Hartson, while right-handed hurler Mike Shawaryn will get the ball for Salem in the nightcap. First pitch from Haley Toyota Field is set for 1:05 p.m., and Ben Gellman’s pregame show starts at 12:45 on the Red Sox Radio Network.