Salem Sox Gameday: The Pelican Brief

GAME #10 – Myrtle Beach Pelicans (6-3) at Salem Red Sox (4-5)

7:05 PM, LewisGale Field at Salem Memorial Ballpark, Salem, VA

SERIES AT A GLANCE – First of a three-game series, Salem leads series 2-1, season series tied 1-1

LAST NIGHT – Series finale against the Carolina Mudcats was rained out. Game will be made up Saturday, May 9 as part of a doubleheader

LAST GAME – Carolina 3, Salem 1| WP : Steve Janas (2-0), LP: Teddy Stankiewicz (0-2), SV David Peterson (1) | Recap | Infographic | Box Score

STARTING PITCHERS –  RHP Kevin McAvoy (0-1, 1.80) vs RHP Tyler Skulina (0-1,1.80)

RADIO – 1240 ESPN AM Roanoke | salemsox.com | TuneIn Radio App

SOCIAL MEDIA – Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

SERIES RECAP – The Salem Red Sox notched their first series win of the 2015 season, taking two of three from the Carolina Mudcats. The starting pitchers continued to impress; Jake Dahlstrand, Trey Ball and Teddy Stankiewicz combined for a 1.56 ERA, allowing only three runs over 17.1 combined innings pitched. Only Stankiewicz was the hard luck loser in the 3-1 Mudcats victory on Saturday. As is noted below, LewisGale Field was a safe haven for the Red Sox in the first home series of the year. In just three games Salem put up 20 runs, more than the 15 that they totaled in the six-game season opening road trip. After the finale with Carolina was rained out on Sunday, the Red Sox welcome the Myrtle Beach Pelicans for a three-game set. On to the game notes!

GAME NOTES –

SERIES AT A GLANCE:  The Red sox meet the Myrtle Beach Pelicans for the second time this season and first at LewisGale Field after squaring off last week in South Carolina. Two rainouts bookended a split doubleheader where the Pelicans won game one and the Sox took game two. Salem finishes a week long homestand with three games against Myrtle Beach after earning wins in two of three contests with the Carolina Mudcats. This series will include the third, fourth and fifth games of 18 scheduled with the first-year affiliate of the Chicago Cubs.

LAST TIME OUT: Steve Janas tossed seven superb innings, limiting the Red Sox to a run on five hits as the Carolina Mudcats won 3-1 on Saturday night. Salem starter Teddy Stankiewicz tossed five scoreless innings before falling victim to a leadoff error and two subsequent runs in the sixth inning. Stankiewicz lowered his ERA to 2.38 by allowing two runs (one earned) in 5.1 frames, but took the loss to fall to 0-2. Salem had just two hits after the third inning. The lone Sox run in the contest came on an RBI groundout in the last of the second from Mario Martinez scoring Aneury Tavarez

DOMINANT STARTERS: Teddy Stankiewicz continued a strong trend of solid outings for the Red Sox starting rotation. Through nine games, the starters have a combined 2.81 ERA (15 ER/48.0 IP) with a .235 (40/170) batting average against and four quality starts. The entire staff has a 2.82 ERA, the best in the Carolina League, and a .242 batting average against.

HOME COOKING: After beginning the season with six road games and a 2-4 record, the Red Sox won back-to-back home games at LewisGale Field. In home games, Salem is batting .324 (33/102) as a team with 20 runs scored and have outscored opponents 20-8. In six road games, the Red Sox hit .200 and scored a total of 15 runs, being outscored 19-15 over the opening road trip.

EXTRA, EXTRA: LewisGale Field has turned into an extra-base-hit haven for the Red Sox. Through three home games, the Sox have 16 extra-base hits including 13 doubles, two triples and a home run. Salem started the home schedule with seven doubles as a team in the 13-3 win over Carolina Thursday night and added four more last night. Manuel Margot has tripled twice while Mario Martinez smoked the first home run of the year in the seventh inning on Friday. In total, 16 of Salem’s 33 hits have gone for extra bases. Six different players have recorded an extra-base knock in two separate games including Forrestt Allday and Oscar Tejeda, who had two doubles each on Thursday. Salem currently leads the league in doubles (20), triples (5) and is tied for third in home runs (5).

DAY LONG PRODUCTION: Forrestt Allday is red-hot in the early part of the season. Over his last 14 plate appearances, Allday is 7-for-10 with three doubles, a home run, five RBI, five runs, three walks, and a sac fly. He leads the team in average, on-base percentage (.632), walks (5) and is second in RBI (5), runs (6) and hits (7). He Hit his first professional home run on Tuesday in his 93rd game and 327th at-bat as a Red Sox farmhand. An eighth-round selection by Boston back in 2013, Allday had not homered since his college days at the University of Central Arkansas in 2013 when he hit three for the Bears in 64 games.

DROPPING DIMES: Cole Sturgeon had two outfield assists in Saturday night’s game against Carolina, giving him a league-leading three on the season. Forrestt Allday is tied for second in the league with two outfield assists of his own. The Red Sox currently lead the Carolina League with six as a team. Sturgeon alone has more outfield assists than five full teams. Of the six outfield assists thus far, two have come at second base, two have been at third base,

LINEUP:

4-20 lineup

Salem Sox Gameday: Perhaps a Streak?

GAME #9 – Carolina Mudcats (4-4) at Salem Red Sox (4-4)

6:05 PM, LewisGale Field at Salem Memorial Ballpark, Salem, VA

SERIES AT A GLANCE – Third of a four-game series, Salem leads series 2-0, season series tied 3-3

LAST NIGHT – Salem 6, Carolina 2 | WP : Trey Ball (1-1), LP: Andrew Thurman (1-1), SV Austin Maddox (1) | Recap | Infographic | Box Score

STARTING PITCHERS –  RHP Teddy Stankiewicz (0-1, 3.00) vs RHP Steve Janas (1-0,0.00)

RADIO – 1240 ESPN AM Roanoke | salemsox.com | TuneIn Radio App

SOCIAL MEDIA – Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

GAME NOTES – 

SERIES AT A GLANCE: After finishing their season opening road trip at 2-4, the Salem Red Sox return to the Roanoke Valley for a sevengame homestand. First up is a four game set with the Carolina Mudcats, a team that the Red Sox saw for four games last week to open the season. The first-year Atlanta Braves affiliate took three of four games from the Red Sox in Zebulon, N.C. Last season, the Red Sox were 5-5 at home against the Mudcats and 7-3 against Lynchburg, Atlanta’s Carolina League affiliate in 2014. This season, the Red Sox and Mudcats will meet 22 times, 11 at each ballpark. Twelve of the 22 matchups will take place over the season’s first 18 games.

LAST TIME OUT: Trey Ball tossed 6.0 no-hit innings in his second start of the season, striking out five and allowing just two baserunners to reach base in Salem’s 6-2 victory over Carolina Friday night at LewisGale Field. The Mudcats broke up the no-hitter in the top of the seventh inning with a one out single from Jose Briceno off of German Taveras. Oscar Tejeda was 2-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored, and Sam Travis scored twice for the Red Sox. Austin Maddox picked up the save with 1.2 hitless innings after relieving Taveras in the eighth. Maddox and Ball combined for 7.2 no-hit innings, 1.1 more than the rain-shortened Opening Day no-hitter from Jake Dahlstrand and Joe Gunkel.

DOMINANT STARTERS: Trey Ball’s six no-hit innings were part of yet another strong outing for the Red Sox starting rotation. Through eight games the starters have a combined 2.95 ERA (14 ER/42.2 IP) with a .211 (31/147) batting average against and four quality starts. The entire staff has a 3.08 ERA, good for third in the Carolina League, and a .226 batting average against.

HOME COOKING: After beginning the season with six road games and a 2-4 record, the Red Sox have won back-to-back home games at LewisGale Field. In home games, Salem is batting .391 (27/69) as a team with 19 runs scored and have outscored opponents 19-5. In six road games, the Red Sox hit .200 and scored a total of 15 runs, being outscored 19-15 over the opening road trip.

EXTRA, EXTRA: LewisGale Field has turned into an extra-base-hit haven for the Red Sox. Through two home games, the Sox have 14 extra-base hits including 11 doubles, two triples and a home run. Salem started the home schedule with seven doubles as a team in the 13-3 win over Carolina Thursday night and added four more last night. Manuel Margot has tripled in each game while Mario Martinez smoked the first home run of the year in the seventh inning on Friday. In total, 14 of Salem’s 27 hits have gone for extra bases. Six different players have recorded an extra-base knock in each game including Forrestt Allday and Oscar Tejeda, who had two doubles each on Thursday. Salem currently leads the league in doubles (18), triples (5) and is tied for third in home runs (5).

DAY LONG PRODUCTION: Forrestt Allday is red-hot in the early part of the season. Over his last 14 plate appearances, Allday is 7-for-10 with three doubles, a home run, five RBI, five runs, three walks, and a sac fly. He leads the team in average, on-base percentage (.632), walks (5) and is second in RBI (5), runs (6) and hits (7). He Hit his first professional home run on Tuesday in his 93rd game and 327th at-bat as a Red Sox farmhand. An eighth-round selection by Boston back in 2013, Allday had not homered since his college days at the University of Central Arkansas in 2013 when he hit three for the Bears in 64 games.

PROSPECT POWER: This season’s team features six players ranked in the top 30 of Baseball America’s annual organizational prospect rankings. Outfielder Manuel Margot (7th) is the highest-rated prospect and is joined in the top 30 by infielders Sam Travis (12th) and Wendell Rijo (24th) plus pitchers Trey Ball (15th), Teddy Stankiewicz (20th) and Joe Gunkel (26th). Margot (6th), Ball (12th), Travis (15th), Rijo (17th) and Stankiewicz (20th) also find themselves in the top 30 according to MLB.com.

LINEUP:

4-18 lineup

 

Salem Sox Gameday: Freedom Friday in Salem

GAME #8 – Carolina Mudcats (4-3) at Salem Red Sox (3-4)

7:05 PM, LewisGale Field at Salem Memorial Ballpark, Salem, VA

SERIES AT A GLANCE – Second of a four-game series, Salem leads series 1-0, Carolina leads season series 3-2

LAST NIGHT – Salem 13, Carolina 3 | WP : Jake Dahlstrand (2-0), LP: Lucas Sims (1-1), SV Mike Adams (1) | Recap | Infographic | Box Score

STARTING PITCHERS –  LHP Trey Ball (0-1, 8.44) vs RHP Andrew Thurman (1-0,0.00)

RADIO – 1240 ESPN AM Roanoke | salemsox.com | TuneIn Radio App

SOCIAL MEDIA – Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

GAME NOTES – 

SERIES AT A GLANCE: After finishing their season opening road trip at 2-4, the Salem Red Sox return to the Roanoke Valley for a seven-game homestand. First up is a four game set with the Carolina Mudcats, a team that the Red Sox saw for four games last week to open theseason. The first-year Atlanta Braves affiliate took three of four games from the Red Sox in Zebulon, N.C. Last season, the Red Sox were 5-5 at home against the Mudcats and 7-3 against Lynchburg, Atlanta’s Carolina League affiliate in 2014. This season, the Red Sox and Mudcats will meet 22 times, 11 at each ballpark. Twelve of the 22 matchups will take place over the season’s first 18 games.

LAST TIME OUT: Salem thumped Carolina Thursday night in the home opener at LewisGale Field, tallying 16 hits en-route to a 13-3 win over the Mudcats. Every player in the Red Sox lineup got a hit, eight scored a run and six had an RBI. Manuel Margot and Cole Sturgeon scored three times and Margot, Forrestt Allday and Jake Romanski each had three hits. Jake Dahlstrand notched his second win of the season, allowing just two runs in six innings, striking out four batters.

DAY LONG PRODUCTION: Forrestt Allday is red-hot in the early part of the season. After a 3-for-3 outing on Thursday night, Allday is batting .600 in the young 2015 campaign. Over his last ten plate appearances, Allday is 6-for-7 with three doubles, a home run, five RBI, four runs, two walks, and a sac fly. He leads the team in average, on-base percentage (.667), walks (4), RBI (tied-5) and is second in runs (5). On Tuesday, he crushed his first career home run over the top of the left field pole to tie the game at one, threw a runner out at third base on a potential sacrifice fly, and drove home the eventual game-winning run with a sac fly in the seventh inning. The home run for Allday came in his 93rd game and 327th at-bat as a Red Sox farmhand. An eighth-round selection by Boston back in 2013, Allday had not homered since his college days at the University of Central Arkansas in 2013 when he hit three for the Bears in 64 games.

TAKE TWO, THEY’RE SMALL: Salem had seven doubles as a team in the 13-3 win over Carolina Thursday night. It was the most doubles the Red Sox have had as a team since July 24, 2013, when they had nine in a home game against the Frederick Keys. The team season total was doubled on Thursday. Entering the game, Salem had seven two-baggers for the entire season. The Red Sox also nearly doubled their entire scoring output on the opening road trip, when they scored a total of 15 runs.

THE BOYS ARE BACK IN TOWN: In home openers at LewisGale Field since becoming a Boston Red Sox affiliate, Salem is now 4-3. After losing back-to-back home openers in 2011 and 2012, the Red Sox have won three consecutive to begin the season in Salem: a 7-2 take down of Myrtle Beach in 2013, a 12-11 shootout over Winston-Salem in 2014 and last night’s 13-3 triumph over Carolina. This is the fourth straight year that the Sox home opener was not on MiLB Opening Day. The team hasn’t been at home to start the season since 2011. Salem finished last season with a 35-32 home record.

GOOD PITCHING BEATS GOOD HITTING: Salem’s pitching staff looks to be especially strong this season with three top-30 prospects in Trey Ball, Teddy Stankiewicz and Joe Gunkel. Of the 12 pitchers on the roster, eight were selected in the top 10 rounds of their respective drafts: Ball (1st, 2013), Stankiewicz (2nd, 2013), Austin Maddox (3rd, 2012), Kevin McAvoy (4th, 2014), Kyle Kraus (7th, 2012), Mike Adams (7th, 2013), Jake Dahlstrand (10th, 2010) and Taylor Grover (10th, 2013). This year is a new challenge for a majority of the staff as only five of the pitchers have reached High-A before this season. Nine of the hurlers are 23 years old or younger, including two 20-year olds. So far, the youthful staff has held its own, stockpiling a 3.27 ERA in the first week of the season. Six of Salem’s starters have allowed three earned runs or less and all but one has gone at least five innings. Sox starters have already recorded three quality starts.

LINEUP :

4-17 LINEUP

Salem Sox Gameday: Home Sweet Home

GAME #7 – Carolina Mudcats (4-2) at Salem Red Sox (2-4)

7:05 PM, LewisGale Field at Salem Memorial Ballpark, Salem, VA

SERIES AT A GLANCE – First of a four game series, Carolina leads season series 3-1

LAST NIGHT – Rained out at Myrtle Beach, game rescheduled as part of a May 6 doubleheader

LAST GAME – (Tuesday Doubleheader) (Game #1) Myrtle Beach 5, Salem 3 | WP: Jen-Ho Tseng (1-0), LP Daniel McGrath (0-1), SV Tayler Scott (1) | Infographic | Box Score

(Game #2) Salem 3, Myrtle Beach 1 | WP Taylor Grover (1-0), LP Gerardo Conception (0-1) |Recap | Infographic | Box Score

STARTING PITCHERS –  RHP Jake Dahlstrand (1-0, 0.00) vs RHP Lucas Sims (1-0,3.00)

RADIO – 1240 ESPN AM Roanoke | salemsox.com | TuneIn Radio App

SOCIAL MEDIA – Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

SERIES RECAP – What was originally scheduled as a three-day, three-game series turned in to two seven-inning games played as a doubleheader Tuesday Night in Myrtle Beach. After Game one was postponed due to rain on Monday, the Sox earned a split Tuesday night. Salem dropped the opening game 5-3 before bouncing back for a 3-1 victory behind a strong performance from Forrestt Allday. Allday went 2-for-2 with a walk and launched his first career home run. He later plated the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly. The series rubber match scheduled for Wednesday night was rained out and will be made up as part of a doubleheader tentatively scheduled for May 6.

The 2015 Salem Red Sox make their first appearance at LewisGale Field tonight beginning at 7:05 p.m. We’ll see you at the ballpark, until then all of your pertinent Home Opener info is below.

GAME NOTES – 

SERIES AT A GLANCE: After finishing their season opening road trip at 2-4, the Salem Red Sox return to the Roanoke Valley to begin a seven-game homestand. First up is a four game set with the Carolina Mudcats, a team that the Red Sox saw for four games last week to open the season. The first-year Atlanta Braves affiliate took three of four games from the Red Sox in Zebulon, N.C. Last season, the Red Sox were 5-5 at home against the Mudcats and 7-3 against Lynchburg, Atlanta’s Carolina League affiliate in 2014. This season, the Red Sox and Mudcats will meet 22 times, 11 at each ballpark. Twelve of the 22 matchups will take place over the season’s first 18 games.

THE BOYS ARE BACK IN TOWN: In home openers at LewisGale Field since becoming a Boston Red Sox affiliate, Salem is 3-3. After losing back-to-back home openers in 2011 and 2012, the Red Sox have won two consecutive to begin the season in Salem, a 7-2 take down of Myrtle Beach in 2013 and a 12-11 shootout over Winston-Salem in 2014. This is the fourth straight year that the Sox home opener was not on MiLB Opening Day. The team hasn’t been at home to start the season since 2011. Salem finished last season with a 35-32 home record.

LAST TIME OUT: Salem split a doubleheader on Tuesday night at Myrtle Beach, falling 5-3 in the opener before swiping the nightcap 3-1. Forrestt Allday led the charge in the second game by going 2-for-2 with two RBI, including his first professional home run. Taylor Grover earned the win in the second game by firing two scoreless frames of relief. Manuel Margot was a combined 2-for-6 in the twin-bill with his first home run of the year coming in the first game. Wendell Rijo was 3-for-3 in the opener, finishing a home run shy of the cycle.

LET’S PLAY TWO: The Red Sox earned the split of their first doubleheader of the season Tuesday night in Myrtle Beach thanks to a 3-1 victory in game two. In 2014, Salem was a combined 10-4 in doubleheader contests including two splits. It was the Red Sox first doubleheader against the Pelicans since July 11, 2013 and their first doubleheader in Myrtle Beach since August 11, 2009.

TWO BY TWO: Every game this season for the Red Sox has been decided by exactly two runs. Last season, Salem was involved in 25 games decided by exactly two runs, posting a 12-13 record in such contests. The sixth two-run game, however, did not come until May 9. The Red Sox have scored runs in their last at-bat in three straight games to create the two-run margin.

WHAT A DAY: Forrestt Allday was involved in every facet of the game during Tuesday’s nightcap. The 24-year old from Friendswood, Texas crushed his first career home run over the top of the left field pole to tie the game at one, threw a runner out at third base on a potential sacrifice fly, and drove home the eventual game-winning run with a sac fly in the seventh inning. The home run for Allday came in his 93rd game and 327th at-bat as a Red Sox farmhand. An eighth-round selection by Boston back in 2013, Allday had not homered since his college days at the University of Central Arkansas in 2013 when he hit three for the Bears in 64 games.

OPENING DAY NO-NO: Thursday night, Jake Dahlstrand and Joe Gunkel combined to throw the 11th no-hitter in Salem franchise history. The rain-shortened outing that was called final after 6.1 innings was the first no-hitter since Henry Owens, Matty Ott and Matt Price collaborated to no-hit the Frederick Keys on July 17, 2013 in a 6-0 Red Sox victory. It was the second shortest no-hitter in Salem history. On June 29, 1972, John Morlan and Dewayne Mason held the Kinston Eagles hitless in a 2-1 Salem Pirates victory that was called final after just five innings. Gunkel is the second pitcher in team history to throw just 0.1 innings of a combined no-hitter. Ryan Oulette did it for the Salem Avalanche on August 5, 2008. It was the third Opening Day no-hitter involving the Salem franchise as the 1992 Buccaneers and 1995 Avalanche were on the wrong side of no-hitters by the Peninsula Pilots and Prince William Cannons, respectively

LINEUP:

Daily Lineup 4-16

Salem Sox Gameday: Series Finale in Myrtle Beach

GAME #7 – Salem Red Sox (2-4) at Myrtle Beach Pelicans (3-3)

7:05 PM, TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark, Myrtle Beach, SC

SERIES AT A GLANCE – Third game of a three game series, series tied 1-1

LAST NIGHT – Myrtle Beach 5, Salem 3 | WP: Jen-Ho Tseng (1-0), LP Daniel McGrath (0-1), SV Tayler Scott (1) | Infographic | Box Score

(Game #2) Salem 3, Myrtle Beach 1 | WP Taylor Grover (1-0), LP Gerardo Conception (0-1) | Recap | Infographic | Box Score

STARTING PITCHERS –  RHP Jake Dahlstrand (1-0, 0.00) vs RHP Duane Underwood Jr. (1-0,0.00)

RADIO – 1240 ESPN AM Roanoke | salemsox.com | TuneIn Radio App

TV – MiLB TV (subscription required)

SOCIAL MEDIA – Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Tonight is the final game of the season-opening seven-game road trip. Tomorrow, the Sox open up a seven-game homestand with the first of a four-game set against the Carolina Mudcats beginning at 7:05 p.m. But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s focus on the series finale with the Pelicans.

GAME NOTES –

SERIES AT A GLANCE: The Salem Red Sox continue their season-opening seven-game road trip with a three-game series against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. The Sox took 11 of 19 games from the Pelicans in the regular season last year, but fell when it counted most two games to one in the South Division Championships Series. Salem is 2-4 for the third time in the last four years, also reaching that mark in 2012 and 2013. The Red Sox have not started 2-5 since that 2012 campaign when they finished 68-69-1.

LAST TIME OUT: Salem split a doubleheader on Tuesday night at Myrtle Beach, falling 5-3 in the opener before swiping the nightcap 3-1. Forrestt Allday led the charge in the second game by going 2-for-2 with two RBI, including his first professional home run. Taylor Grover earned the win in the second game by firing two scoreless frames of relief. Manuel Margot was a combined 2-for-6 in the twin-bill with his first home run of the year coming in the first game. Wendell Rijo was 3-for-3 in the opener, finishing a home run shy of the cycle.

LET’S PLAY TWO: The Red Sox earned the split of their first doubleheader of the season Tuesday night in Myrtle Beach thanks to a 3-1 victory in game two. In 2014, Salem was a combined 10-4 in doubleheader contests including two splits. It was the Red Sox first doubleheader against the Pelicans since July 11, 2013 and their first doubleheader in Myrtle Beach since August 11, 2009.

TWO BY TWO: Every game this season for the Red Sox has been decided by exactly two runs. Last season, Salem was involved in 25 games decided by exactly two runs, posting a 12-13 record in such contests. The sixth two-run game, however, did not come until May 9. The Red Sox have scored runs in their last at-bat in three straight games to create the two-run margin.

WHAT A DAY: Forrestt Allday was involved in every facet of the game during Tuesday’s nightcap. The 24-year old from Friendswood, Texas crushed his first career home run over the top of the left field pole to tie the game at one, threw a runner out at third base on a potential sacrifice fly, and drove home the eventual game-winning run with a sac fly in the seventh inning. The home run for Allday came in his 93rd game and 327th at-bat as a Red Sox farmhand. An eighth-round selection by Boston back in 2013, Allday had not homered since his college days at the University of Central Arkansas in 2013 when he hit three for the Bears in 64 games.

OPENING DAY NO-NO: Thursday night, Jake Dahlstrand and Joe Gunkel combined to throw the 11th no-hitter in Salem franchise history. The rain-shortened outing that was called final after 6.1 innings was the first no-hitter since Henry Owens, Matty Ott and Matt Price collaborated to no-hit the Frederick Keys on July 17, 2013 in a 6-0 Red Sox victory. It was the second shortest no-hitter in Salem history. On June 29, 1972, John Morlan and Dewayne Mason held the Kinston Eagles hitless in a 2-1 Salem Pirates victory that was called final after just five innings. Gunkel is the second pitcher in team history to throw just 0.1 innings of a combined no-hitter. Ryan Oulette did it for the Salem Avalanche on August 5, 2008. It was the third Opening Day no-hitter involving the Salem franchise as the 1992 Buccaneers and 1995 Avalanche were on the wrong side of no-hitters by the Peninsula Pilots and Prince William Cannons, respectively.

SOLID RELIEF: Taylor Grover was strong out of the bullpen last night in his second appearance of the season, allowing just one hit in 2.0 innings pitched. Grover used just 31 pitches in his outing while walking a pair. It was his seventh career appearance with Salem. After an August call-up from Low-A Greenville in 2014, Grover posted a 1.46 ERA and .167 batting average against with the Red Sox. He did not allow a run in four of those appearances and now has held opponents scoreless in six of his seven career High-A outings. Overall, Grover, Jorge Marban and Austin Maddox have combined to post 6.1 consecutive scoreless innings out of the pen over the last three games.

LINEUP 

Daily Lineup 4-15

Salem Sox Gameday: To the Beach!

GAME #5 – Salem Red Sox (1-3) at Myrtle Beach Pelicans (2-2)

7:05 PM, TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark, Myrtle Beach, SC

SERIES AT A GLANCE – First of a three game series, first meeting of the season

LAST NIGHT  Carolina 4, Salem 2 | WP: Steve Janas (1-0), LP Kevin McAvoy (0-1), SV Tyler Jones (2) | Recap | Infographic | Box Score

STARTING PITCHERS – LHP Daniel McGrath (0-0, –) vs RHP Jen-Ho Tseng (0-0, –)

RADIO – 1240 ESPN AM Roanoke | salemsox.com | TuneIn Radio App

TV – MiLB TV (subscription required)

SOCIAL MEDIA – Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

CAROLINA SERIES RECAP: 

Thursday : Red Sox 2, Mudcats 0 – WP Jake Dahlstrand (1-0), LP Yean Carlos Gil (0-1)

Friday: Mudcats 6, Red Sox 4 – WP Lucas Sims (1-0), LP Trey Ball (0-1), SV Tyler Jones (1)

Saturday: Mudcats 3, Red Sox 1 – WP Andrew Thurman (1-0), LP Teddy Stankiewicz (0-1), SV Andrew Waszak (1)

Sunday : Mudcats 4, Red Sox 2 – WP Steve Janas (1-0), LP Kevin McAvoy (0-1), SV Tyler Jones (2)

Four games down, 136 to go. The opening series saw a few trends emerge, most notably some very strong pitching. Jake Dahlstrand set the tone with his six innings in the rain-shortened no-hitter on Thursday and the rest of the staff followed suit.  As is noted in the game notes below, Salem’s rotation was nearly unhittable save for one rough inning in Trey Ball’s outing on Friday. This unfortunately did not translate to victories. Every Red Sox starter but Dahlstrand took the loss.

This was due in part to inconsistency on the offensive side. The Sox hit just .182 as a team over the opening four games, with 11 of the teams 22 hits coming from Manuel Margot and Anuery Tavarez. Salem’s nine runs are the fewest plated by a Carolina League team through the first four games.

The Red Sox won’t have to wait long for another crack at the Mudcats, Carolina will be the first visitor to LewisGale Field beginning with the home opener on Thursday, April 16. In fact, three of the first five series and 12 of the first 18 games will be played against the Braves High-A affiliate. But for now, the attention turns to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans.

GAME NOTES –

SERIES AT A GLANCE: The Salem Red Sox continue their season-opening seven-game road trip with a three-game series against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. The Sox took 11 of 19 games from the Pelicans in the regular season last year, but fell when it counted most two games to one in the South Division Championships Series. Salem is 1-3 for the third time in the last four years, also reaching that mark in 2012 and 2013. Both of those Red Sox teams lost the fifth game of the year before rebouding with wins in the sixth game.

LAST TIME: Salem dropped its third straight two-run game to Carolina in the series finale on Sunday afternoon, 4-2. Kevin McAvoy yielded just one run in five innings in his High-A debut, but was dealt the loss. The Red Sox offense managed just one hit in the first six innings, a bunt single when Aneury Tavarez was thrown out trying to reach third base. Steve Janas continued a strong string of starting pitching for Carolina, tossing six shutout, one-hit innings. Mudcat starters gave up just four earned runs in 22.2 innings in the series (1.39 ERA).

A FLEDGLING STREAK: After going 1-for-4 Sunday at Carolina, Anuery Tavarez has now hit safely in each of the first four games.Tavarez, who was the only player to appear in the field in all four games against the Mudcats, is batting .500 (7-for-14) on the young season. Six of his seven hits have been singles. Now in his second year with Salem, Tavarez has hit safely in 9-of-10 games dating back to last year.

UNCHARTED WATERS: In his first professional season last year with the Short Season-A Lowell Spinners, Kevin McAvoy never had a start last more than three full innings. With the cap off in 2015 with Salem, McAvoy pitched in to the fourth for the first time as a professional Sunday afternoon against the Mudcats. It was the fourth inning that ultimately made him the hard-luck loser, McAvoy allowed a leadoff double and later the only run against him in that frame. In a total of five innings, McAvoy allowed just four hits to go with the lone run, walking two and striking out three.

STRONG STARTERS: The Red Sox have received impressive performances from their starting pitchers in each of the four games to open the season. With the exception of the second inning of Trey Ball’s start on Friday, Ball, Jake Dahlstrand, Teddy Stankiewicz and Kevin McAvoy have combined for 21.1 innings with just 15 hits and four earned runs against them, good for an ERA of 1.69. The starters have combined to give up just 20 hits in 80 at-bats for a .250 average against with two quality starts.

SHOULDERING THE LOAD: Manny Margot and Anuery Tavarez have started the year hot, hitting a combined 11-for-25 (.440) with two doubles, three stolen bases and two runs scored. The rest of the team has combined to go just 11-for-96, a combined average of .115. Twelve of the teams 22 hits have come with two outs, as have four of their nine runs scored.

OPEN WITH A LONGBALL: Sam Travis became the second player this season to have his first hit be a home run. After going 0-for-3 in the opener, Travis slugged a two-run homer in the fourth inning to cut the deficit to two on Friday night. For Travis, a 2014 second round selection out of Indiana who is in his first full professional season, it was his eighth career minor league home run.

PLAYING BEYOND HIS YEARS: In his first High-A at-bat on Thursday, Wendell Rijo crushed a two-run homer over the left-center field wall, driving in the only two runs of the game. Rijo, who at 19-years old is the youngest player in the Carolina League, continued a trend of starting hot after he hit .341 over his first 31 games in 2014 with Low-A Greenville. Rijo is one of four players in the Carolina League that were born in 1995: Frederick’s Chance Sisco (February 24), Winston-Salem’s Trey Michalczowski (February 27) and Lynchburg’s Ivan Castillo (May 30).

LINEUP –

Daily Lineup 4-13

Salem Sox Gameday: Series Finale in Zebulon

GAME #4 – Salem Red Sox (1-2) at Carolina Mudcats (2-1)

2PM, Five County Stadium, Zebulon, NC

SERIES AT A GLANCE – Fourth game of a four game series (CAR leads 2-1), CAR leads season series tied 2-1.

LAST NIGHT  Carolina 3, Salem 1 | WP: Andrew Thurman (1-0), LP Teddy Stankiewicz (0-1), SV Andrew Waszak (1) | Recap | Infographic | Box Score

STARTING PITCHERS – RHP Kevin McAvoy (0-0, –) vs RHP Steve Janas (0-0, –)

RADIO – 1240 ESPN AM Roanoke | salemsox.com | TuneIn Radio App

TV – MiLB TV (subscription required)

SOCIAL MEDIA – Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

LINEUP 

Daily Lineup 4-12

GAME NOTES 

SERIES AT A GLANCE: The Salem Red Sox kick off their seventh season as an affiliate of the Boston Red Sox on the road against the Carolina Mudcats, entering their first season in the Atlanta Braves organization. The Red Sox won 11 of 20 meetings with the Mudcats last season, the same record they had against last year’s Atlanta affiliate in Lynchburg. As part of the new unbalanced schedule this season, the Red Sox and Mudcats will meet 22 times, 11 times at each site. Twelve of the 22 matchups will take place in the season’s first 18 games. The Red Sox were 6-4 at Five County Stadium last season and are 20-13 in Zebulon since the Mudcats moved into the Carolina League.

STRONG STARTERS: The Red Sox have received impressive performances from their starting pitchers in each of the three games to open the season. With the exception of the second inning of Trey Ball’s start on Friday, Ball, Jake Dahlstrand and Teddy Stankiewicz have combined for 17.1 innings with just 11 hits and three earned runs against them, good for an ERA of 1.56. The starters have combined to give up just 16 hits in 63 at-bats for a .254 average against with two quality starts.

SHOULDERING THE LOAD: Manny Margot and Anuery Tavarez have started the year hot, hitting a combined 10-for-21 (.476) with two doubles, three stolen bases and two runs scored. The rest of the team has combined to go just 8-for-71, a combined average of .113. Eleven of the teams 18 hits have come with two outs, as have three of their nine runs scored.

OPEN WITH A LONGBALL: Sam Travis became the second player this season to have his first hit be a home run. After going 0-for-3 in the opener, Travis slugged a two-run homer in the fourth inning to cut the deficit to two last night. For Travis, a 2014 second round selection out of Indiana who is in his first full professional season, it was his eighth career minor league home run.

SOLID RELIEF: Taylor Grover was strong out of the bullpen on Friday night in his first appearance of the season, allowing just one hit in 2.2 innings pitched. Grover used just 31 pitches in his outing, striking out two and issuing no walks. It was his sixth career appearance with Salem. After an August call-up from Low-A Greenville in 2014, Grover posted a 1.46 ERA and .167 batting average against with the Red Sox over five appearances. He did not allow a run in four of those appearances and now has held opponents scoreless in five of his six career High-A outings.

PLAYING BEYOND HIS YEARS: In his first High-A at-bat on Thursday, Wendell Rijo crushed a two-run homer over the left-center field wall, driving in the only two runs of the game. Rijo, who at 19-years old is the youngest player in the Carolina League, continued a trend of starting hot after he hit .341 over his first 31 games in 2014 with Low-A Greenville. Rijo is one of four players in the Carolina League that were born in 1995: Frederick’s Chance Sisco (February 24), Winston-Salem’s Trey Michalczowski (February 27) and Lynchburg’s Ivan Castillo (May 30).

OPENING DAY NO-NO: Thursday night, Jake Dahlstrand and Joe Gunkel combined to throw the 11th no-hitter in Salem franchise history. The rain-shortened outing that was called final after 6.1 innings was the first no-hitter since Henry Owens, Matty Ott and Matt Price collaborated to no-hit the Frederick Keys on July 17, 2013 in a 6-0 Red Sox victory. It was the second shortest no-hitter in Salem history. On June 29, 1972, John Morlan and Dewayne Mason held the Kinston Eagles hitless in a 2-1 Salem Pirates victory that was called final after just five innings. Gunkel is the second pitcher in team history to throw just 0.1 innings of a combined no-hitter. Ryan Oulette did it for the Salem Avalanche on August 5, 2008. It was the third Opening Day no-hitter involving the Salem franchise as the 1992 Buccaneers and 1995 Avalanche were on the wrong side of no-hitters by the Peninsula Pilots and Prince William Cannons, respectively.

Salem Sox Gameday: Game #3 @ Carolina Mudcats

Salem Red Sox (1-1) at Carolina Mudcats (1-1)

6PM, Five County Stadium, Zebulon, NC

SERIES AT A GLANCE – 3rd game of four (tied 1-1), season series tied 1-1.

STARTERS – RHP Teddy Stankiewicz (0-0, –) vs RHP Andrew Thurman (0-0, –)

RADIO – 1240 ESPN AM Roanoke | salemsox.com | TuneIn Radio App

TV – MiLB TV (subscription required)

SOCIAL MEDIA – Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

LINEUP 

Daily Lineup 4-11

GAME NOTES 

OPEN WITH A LONGBALL: Sam Travis became the second player this season to have his first hit be a home run. After going 0-for-3 in the opener, Travis slugged a two-run homer in the fourth inning to cut the deficit to two last night. For Travis, a 2014 second round selection out of Indiana who is in his first full professional season, it was his eighth career minor league home run.

SOLID RELIEF: Taylor Grover was strong out of the bullpen on Friday night in his first appearance of the season, allowing just one hit in 2.2 innings pitched. Grover used just 31 pitches in his outing, striking out two and issuing no walks. It was his sixth career appearance with Salem. After an August call-up from Low-A Greenville in 2014, Grover posted a 1.46 ERA and .167 batting average against with the Red Sox over five appearances. He did not allow a run in four of those appearances and now has held opponents scoreless in five of his six career High-A outings.

STAY HOT MANNY: Safe to say that Manuel Margot enjoys playing in a Salem Red Sox uniform. The centerfielder was 3-for-3 with two stolen bases and three singles on Thursday night. It was his 17th game with the club after playing in 16 last season. In those games, he hit .340 with two home runs, 14 RBI and five triples. Margot also led all Red Sox minor leaguers with 42 stolen bases in 2014.

PLAYING BEYOND HIS YEARS: In his first High-A at-bat on Thursday, Wendell Rijo crushed a two-run homer over the left-center field wall, driving in the only two runs of the game. Rijo, who at 19-years old is the youngest player in the Carolina League, continued a trend of starting hot after he hit .341 over his first 31 games in 2014 with Low-A Greenville. Rijo is one of four players in the Carolina League that were born in 1995: Frederick’s Chance Sisco (February 24), Winston-Salem’s Trey Michalczowski (February 27) and Lynchburg’s Ivan Castillo (May 30).

OPENING DAY NO-NO: Thursday night, Jake Dahlstrand and Joe Gunkel combined to throw the 11th no-hitter in Salem franchise history. The rain-shortened outing that was called final after 6.1 innings was the first no-hitter since Henry Owens, Matty Ott and Matt Price collaborated to no-hit the Frederick Keys on July 17, 2013 in a 6-0 Red Sox victory. It was the second shortest no-hitter in Salem history. On June 29, 1972, John Morlan and Dewayne Mason held the Kinston Eagles hitless in a 2-1 Salem Pirates victory that was called final after just five innings. Gunkel is the second pitcher in team history to throw just 0.1 innings of a combined no-hitter. Ryan Oulette did it for the Salem Avalanche on August 5, 2008. It was the third Opening Day no-hitter involving the Salem franchise as the 1992 Buccaneers and 1995 Avalanche were on the wrong side of no-hitters by the Peninsula Pilots and Prince William Cannons, respectively.

GOOD PITCHING BEATS GOOD HITTING: Salem’s pitching staff looks to be especially strong this season with three top-30 prospects in Trey Ball, Teddy Stankiewicz and Joe Gunkel. Of the 12 pitchers on the roster, eight were selected in the top 10 rounds of their respective drafts: Ball (1st, 2013), Stankiewicz (2nd, 2013), Austin Maddox (3rd, 2012), Kevin McAvoy (4th, 2014), Kyle Kraus (7th, 2012), Mike Adams (7th, 2013), Jake Dahlstrand (10th, 2010) and Taylor Grover (10th, 2013). This year is a new challenge for a majority of the staff as only five of the pitchers have reached High-A before this season. Nine of the hurlers are 23 years old or younger, including two 20-year olds.

How About an Encore?

Jake Dahlstrand chats with MiLB about his Opening Day no-hitter outside of the visiting clubhouse in Zebulon.

Jake Dahlstrand chats with MiLB about his Opening Day no-hitter outside of the visiting clubhouse in Zebulon.

The rain continued to fall and the lightning continued to flash as Brian and I walked out of Five County Stadium last night. Both of us agreed it was one of the weirdest feelings we’ve had when leaving a ballpark. We just witnessed a no-hitter. It may have been a rain-shortened no-no, but the Mudcats still left the park with a 0 in the hit column.

Amidst all the chaos and uncertainty that comes with Opening Day, Jake Dahlstrand (6 IP) and Joe Gunkel (0.1 IP) looked unfazed as they dominated Carolina hitters before Mother Nature took over. It marked the 11th no-hitter in Salem baseball history and first for the Red Sox since July 17, 2013 when Henry Owens, Matty Ott and Matt Price no-hit the Frederick Keys.

If it wasn’t weird enough already, it marked the second straight season a Red Sox affiliate won a rain-shortened no-hitter as Owens tossed a no-no for Double-A Portland last season. Dahlstrand is good friends with Owens and talked about the odd symmetry in this article with MiLB.

As for game two of the season, two former first round picks go head-to-head as Salem’s Trey Ball takes on Carolina’s Lucas Sims. Hits will probably be at a premium again today. Here are today’s notes:

OPENING DAY NO-NO: Thursday night, Jake Dahlstrand and Joe Gunkel combined to throw the 11th no-hitter in Salem franchise history. The rain-shortened outing that was called final after 6.1 innings was the first no-hitter since Henry Owens, Matty Ott and Matt Price collaborated to no-hit the Frederick Keys on July 17, 2013 in a 6-0 Red Sox victory. It was the second shortest no-hitter in Salem history. On June 29, 1972, John Morlan and Dewayne Mason held the Kinston Eagles hitless in a 2-1 Salem Pirates victory that was called final after just five innings. Gunkel is the second pitcher in team history to throw just 0.1 innings of a combined no-hitter. Ryan Oulette did it for the Salem Avalanche on August 5, 2008. It was the third Opening Day no-hitter involving the Salem franchise as the 1992 Buccaneers and 1995 Avalanche were on the wrong side of no-hitters by the Peninsula Pilots and Prince William Cannons, respectively.

HIGHLY-TOUTED PITCHING MATCHUP: A pair of former first round draft picks square off tonight as Trey Ball goes for Salem against the Mudcats’ Lucas Sims. Ball, a left-handed pitcher, was selected seventh overall by the Red Sox in 2013 and is rated by Baseball America as the 15th-best prospect in the Red Sox minor league system. He makes his High-A debut tonight after pitching all of last season with Low-A Greenville. Sims, a right-handed pitcher, was selected 21st overall by the Braves in 2012. He spent the year in High-A last year with the Lynchburg Hillcats and is appearing for the first time as a Mudcat following the affiliation change.

BREAKING A PATTERN: Thursday night’s win marked the first time since 1987-88 that the franchise has won back-to-back Opening Day games, when the Salem Buccaneers took down Durham in consecutive years. Salem had alternated Opening Day wins and losses for 10 straight seasons dating back to 2005, including a 10-3 thumping of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans in 2014. The Red Sox have now won three of their last four Opening Day games, all on the road.

STAY HOT MANNY: Safe to say that Manuel Margot enjoys playing in a Salem Red Sox uniform. The centerfielder was 3-for-3 with two stolen bases and three singles on Thursday night. It was his 17th game with the club after playing in 16 last season. In those games, he hit .340 with two home runs, 14 RBI and five triples. Margot also led all Red Sox minor leaguers with 42 stolen bases in 2014.

PLAYING BEYOND HIS YEARS: In his first High-A at-bat, Wendell Rijo crushed a two-run home run over the left-center field wall, driving in the only two runs of the game. Rijo, who at 19-years old is the youngest player in the Carolina League, continued a trend of starting hot after he hit .341 over his first 31 games in 2014 with the Low-A Greenville Drive. Rijo is one of four players in the Carolina that were born in 1995: Frederick’s Chance Sisco (February 24), Winston-Salem’s Trey Michalczowski (February 27) and Lynchburg’s Ivan Castillo (May 30).

And today’s lineup:

Daily Lineup 4-10

We’re on the air at 7 p.m. on WGMN 1240, SalemSox.com and the TuneIn App. Talk to you then…

Kevin

Opening Day in Carolina

Five County Stadium in Zebulon is ready for the opener of the 2015 season.

Five County Stadium in Zebulon is ready for the opener of the 2015 season.

Hello from Five County Stadium in Raleigh where the 2015 Salem Red Sox season gets started tonight at 7 p.m. Take a look at our season-opening game notes:

SERIES AT A GLANCE: The Salem Red Sox kick off their seventh season as an affiliate of the Boston Red Sox on the road against the Carolina Mudcats, entering their first season in the Atlanta Braves organization. The Red Sox won 11 of 20 meetings with the Mudcats last season, the same record they had against last year’s Atlanta affiliate in Lynchburg. As part of the new unbalanced schedule this season, the Red Sox and Mudcats will meet 22 times, 11 times at each site. Twelve of the 22 matchups will take place in the season’s first 18 games.

OPENING DAY FOOTNOTES: Since joining the Carolina League in 1968, the Salem franchise has gone 21-27 on Opening Day. Since the affiliation change in 2009, the Red Sox are 3-3 on the season’s first day, including a 10-3 win at Myrtle Beach last season. Oddly enough, Salem has alternated wins and losses on Opening Day for 10 straight seasons, dating back to 2005. Salem has not won back-to-back Opening Day games since winning in 1987 and 1988 when the Pirate-affiliated Buccaneers triumphed in back-to-back seasons at Durham. This will be the fourth straight season, and fifth time in six years, that the Red Sox have started the season on the road.

THIRD TIME’S THE CHARM: Salem has made the Carolina League playoffs in back-to-back seasons for the first time as a Red Sox affiliate, winning the Mills Cup in 2013 before bowing out to Myrtle Beach in the Southern Division Finals last season. This year’s squad will look to do something no Salem team has ever accomplished: qualify for the playoffs three years in a row. In the 48 years of Carolina League baseball in Salem, the franchise has made the playoffs 13 times, but never in three straight seasons. Salem has not won a first half title since 1988.

PROSPECT POWER: This season’s team features six players ranked in the top 30 of Baseball America’s annual organizational prospect rankings. Outfielder Manuel Margot (7th) is the highest-rated prospect and is joined in the top 30 by infielders Sam Travis (12th) and Wendell Rijo (24th) plus pitchers Trey Ball (15th), Teddy Stankiewicz (20th) and Joe Gunkel (26th). Margot (6th), Ball (12th), Travis (15th), Rijo (17th) and Stankiewicz (20th) also find themselves in the top 30 according to MLB.com.

BEATING THE SYSTEM: The Red Sox’ roster contains four players that were drafted just last season by Boston. Infielder Sam Travis (2nd round) is the highest selection from last year’s class to make it to Salem. He is joined by pitcher Kevin McAvoy (4th round), outfielder Cole Sturgeon (10th round) and infielder Jordan Betts (18th round). All three hitters batted at least .269 in their professional debut while McAvoy posted a sub-2.00 ERA for Short Season-A Lowell.

GOOD PITCHING BEATS GOOD HITTING: Salem’s pitching staff looks to be especially strong this season with three top-30 prospects in Trey Ball, Teddy Stankiewicz and Joe Gunkel. Of the 12 pitchers on the roster, eight were selected in the top 10 rounds of their respective drafts: Ball (1st, 2013), Stankiewicz (2nd, 2013), Austin Maddox (3rd, 2012), Kevin McAvoy (4th, 2014), Kyle Kraus (7th, 2012), Mike Adams (7th, 2013), Jake Dahlstrand (10th, 2010) and Taylor Grover (10th, 2013). This year is a new challenge for a majority of the staff as only five of the pitchers have reached High-A before this season. Nine of the hurlers are 23 years old or younger, including two 20-year olds.

HELLO OLD FRIEND: Infielder Oscar Tejeda is the second-oldest player on the team at 25 years old, trailing only pitcher Jorge Marban. Tejeda brings a wealth of experience to Salem, where he had arguably the best year of his career in 2010. That year, Tejeda was named a Carolina League mid- and post-season All-Star after leading Red Sox farmhands with 156 hits, finishing second with a .307 average and ranking third with 231 total bases. He led Salem in average, hits, slugging (.455), multi-hit games (44), runs (76), extra-base hits (48) and total bases. Tejeda was in the Carolina League last year, when he had an All-Star campaign with Potomac in the Nationals organization.

And here is today’s starting lineup:

Daily Lineup 4-9This season you can catch every game on WGMN 1240 AM in Roanoke, SalemSox.com and the TuneIn App on your smartphone tablet.

Air time is set for 7 p.m.! Talk to you soon…

Kevin & Brian

 

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