Salem Sox Gameday: McAvoy-Brown

GAME # 75–Salem Red Sox (40-34/2-2) vs Lynchburg Hillcats (34-39/ 1-2)

7:05 PM, LewisGale Field, Salem, Va. 

SERIES AT A GLANCE – Second of a three-game series, Lynchburg leads series 1-0, Lynchburg leads season series 6-2

LAST NIGHT – Lynchburg 10, Salem 6 | WP: Casey Weathers (2-1), LP: German Taveras (3-1) |RecapInfographic | Box Score

 STARTING PITCHERS – RHP Kevin McAvoy (4-6, 4.28) vs. RHP D.J. Brown (4-3, 4.95)

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

SOCIAL MEDIA – Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

GAME NOTES:

SERIES AT A GLANCE: The Red Sox welcome the Lynchburg Hillcats to LewisGale Field for a three-game set, the first three games of the 19 that the out-of-division rivals will play in the second half. The Red Sox will see the Hillcats a grand total of 26 times, more than any other opponent in 2015. Lynchburg leads the season series 6-2 with the two squads splitting a four-game, three-day, two-city series the last time they met from June 9-11. The High-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians will visit Salem six more times in the second half while the Sox visit Lynchburg City Stadium 11 times.

LAST TIME OUT: Bradley Zimmer launched a go-ahead grand slam and the Lynchburg Hillcats struck for six runs in the top of the ninth inning, vaulting them to a 10-6 victory over the Salem Red Sox on Sunday at LewisGale Field. The Red Sox led 6-4 going into the ninth, thanks in part to a solo shot from Jordan Betts in the seventh inning. Betts was 1-for-2 with two walks, Jordan Weems went 2-for-4 with a double, an RBI and a run scored and Tzu-Wei Lin finished 2-for-4 with a run, an RBI and a double. German Taveras (3-1) was tagged with his first loss and blown save after giving up six runs on five hits over two innings. Nine of the Hillcats’ 10 runs came off of their four home runs. Salem lost for the just the third time all season when leading after eight innings and for the first time since April 30, when the Frederick Keys scored three runs in the top of the ninth to beat Salem 9-8.

SWING AND A DRIVE: The Lynchburg Hillcats homered four times in Sunday’s 10-6 win over the Red Sox, tying the season-high for home runs by a Red Sox opponent. Salem pitchers last surrendered four long balls on May 17 in a 12-1 loss to the Winston-Salem Dash at BB&T Ballpark. The Sox had one home run in each of those contests, as Jordan Betts went yard on Sunday and Aneury Tavarez homered on May 17. Salem gave up its first grand slam of 2015 when Bradley Zimmer cranked a go-ahead slam with the score tied at six in the top of the ninth. The Red Sox hadn’t allowed a grand slam in over a year with the last coming on May 6, 2014 at home against Wilmington.

SOMETHING’S WRONG HERE: The Red Sox and Hillcats have played eight games in 2015 and in all eight games, the road team has been victorious. Salem swept a doubleheader in Lynchburg on June 9, but Lynchburg is a perfect 6-0 at LewisGale Field. In their two road games against the Hillcats, the Red Sox own a 15-2 advantage in the run column but have been outscored 49-17 in home contests. Salem has outscored the rest of its home opponents a combined 160-114, boasting a 22-13 wins and losses record. The Hillcats are batting .277 as a team against the Red Sox with 27 doubles (3.38 per game) and nine home runs (1.13 per game). Salem pitchers have an egregious 6.00 ERA against the Hillcats and a 7.50 ERA at home (45 ER in 54 IP).

PLATE PATIENCE: In three games since joining the Salem Sox, Derek Miller is 3-for-9 and has worked five walks in 14 plate appearances for a .571 on base percentage. Miller has slotted in nicely at the top of the batting order, scoring four runs in the three games. In 63 games with Greenville this season, he worked 32 walks and scored 34 runs while tallying a .283 batting average and .385 on base percentage.

HELLO NEW FRIENDS: Salem received three South Atlantic League All-Stars from Low-A Greenville with Derek Miller, Jordan Procyshen and Mauricio Dubon joining the Red Sox from the Drive. Miller has played every position in the outfield over 63 games with a .283 batting average. He has 11 doubles, 34 runs scored and 34 RBI and was the starting left fielder for the South Division in the South Atlantic League all-star game. Procyshen started at catcher in the same game after a first half in which he hit .285 with 22 runs, eight doubles, two home runs and 28 RBI. Dubon came off the bench in the All-Star game and hit .301 with 12 doubles, three triples, four home runs and 29 RBI in 58 games with Greenville. The infielder was also an All-Star in 2014 with the Lowell Spinners in the New York-Penn League.

LINEUP:

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Salem Sox Gameday: Sox-Hillcats

GAME # 74–Salem Red Sox (40-33/2-1) vs Lynchburg Hillcats (33-39/ 0-2)

4:05 PM, LewisGale Field, Salem, Va. 

SERIES AT A GLANCE – First of a three-game series, Lynchburg leads season series 5-2

LAST NIGHT – Frederick 3, Salem 1 | WP: David Hess (3-4), LP: Trey Ball (6-6) |RecapInfographic | Box Score

 STARTING PITCHERS – RHP Teddy Stankiewicz (2-8, 3.89) vs. RHP Michael Peoples (5-3, 5.68)

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

SOCIAL MEDIA – Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

GAME NOTES:

SERIES AT A GLANCE: The Red Sox welcome the Lynchburg Hillcats to LewisGale Field for a three-game set, the first three games of the 19 that the out-of-division rivals will play in the second half. The Red Sox will see the Hillcats a grand total of 26 times, more than any other opponent in 2015. Lynchburg leads the season series 5-2 with the two squads splitting a four-game, three-day, two-city series the last time they met from June 9-11. The High-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians will visit Salem eight times in the second half while the Sox visit Lynchburg City Stadium 11 times.

LAST TIME OUT: Salem managed only one run and fell to the Frederick Keys 3-1 on Saturday night at LewisGale Field. Trey Ball tied a career-high by tossing 6.2 innings, but allowed all three runs in the first two frames. He gave up six hits and two walks with three strikeouts while only two of the three runs were earned. Tzu-Wei Lin went 2-for-3 with a walk and Derek Miller was 1-for-3 with the only run scored for the Sox. Salem still won the series two games to one, extending its streak of series ties or victories to six straight series (2 ties, 4 wins).

SOMETHING’S WRONG HERE: The Red Sox and Hillcats have played seven games in 2015 and in all seven games, the road team has been victorious. Salem swept a doubleheader in Lynchburg on June 9 but Lynchburg is a perfect 5-0 at LewisGale Field. In their two road games against the Hillcats, the Red Sox own a 15-2 advantage in the run column but have been outscored 39-11 in home contests. Salem has outscored the rest of its home opponents a combined 160-114, boasting a 22-13 wins and losses record.

E…NOBODY: Salem made two errors last night, snapping a season-high six-game errorless streak. Jordan Procyshen’s throwing error in the first inning snapped a streak of 54.0 innings without an error. Prior to the miscues yesterday, Salem had not made an error since Jose Vinicio committed a fielding error in the bottom of the seventh inning during Salem’s 7-0 win on the road in Wilmington against the Blue Rocks on June 17. Salem has had 33 errorless games this season, going 21-12 in those contests. The Sox are 19-21 when making an error.

STAY HOT: Despite falling in the series finale to Frederick, the Red Sox have still won seven of their last nine, 10 of their previous 13, and 13 of the last 18 since starting the month of June 1-4. The current stretch is the most prolific of the season and featured the second five-game winning streak in 2015. A win today would get Salem back to eight games over .500, matching the highest water mark of the 2015 season.

TAKE TWO: The Red Sox won their first game of the second half for just the third time since 2009, taking down the Frederick Keys 6-3 on Thursday night at LewisGale Field. The last two times that Salem won its first game after the All-Star break, they went on to win the Southern Division second half title. In 2009, Salem opened the second half with a 12-0 shutout of the Kinston Indians and finished tied for first at 35-35. The Red Sox cruised by the Wilmington Blue Rocks 9-2 win to begin the second half in 2013 and went on to a 43-27 mark en route to a Carolina League championship. This is the first time in the Salem Red Sox era that they have opened both halves with a victory.

HELLO NEW FRIENDS: Salem received three South Atlantic League All-Stars from Low-A Greenville with Derek Miller, Jordan Procyshen and Mauricio Dubon joining the Red Sox from the Drive. Miller has played every position in the outfield over 63 games with a .283 batting average. He has 11 doubles, 34 runs scored and 34 RBI and was the starting left fielder for the South Division in the South Atlantic League all-star game. Procyshen started at catcher in the same game after a first half in which he hit .285 with 22 runs, eight doubles, two home runs and 28 RBI. Dubon came off the bench in the All-Star game and hit .301 with 12 doubles, three triples, four home runs and 29 RBI in 58 games with Greenville. The infielder was also an All-Star in 2014 with the Lowell Spinners in the New York-Penn League.

LINEUP:

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Salem Sox Gameday: Brooms Ready to Go

GAME # 73–Salem Red Sox (40-32) vs Frederick Keys (32-40)

6:05 PM, LewisGale Field, Salem, Va. 

SERIES AT A GLANCE –Third of a three-game series, Salem leads series 2-0, Salem leads season series 5-3

LAST NIGHT –  Salem 11, Frederick 1 | WP: Ty Buttrey (6-1), LP: Chris Lee (2-3) |Recap| Infographic | Box Score

 STARTING PITCHERS – LHP Trey Ball (6-5, 3.80) vs. RHP David Hess (2-4,5.83)

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

SOCIAL MEDIA – Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

GAME NOTES:

SERIES AT A GLANCE: The Red Sox welcome the Frederick Keys to the Roanoke Valley to kick of the second half of the 2015 season. It’s the third series between the Keys and the Sox and the second time the High-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles travels south from Maryland to visit LewisGale Field. The season series has Salem ahead 5-3 with Salem taking two of the three series thus far. Salem and Frederick finished the first half with the exact opposite record, 32-38 had the Keys in last place in the Northern Division while 38-32 was good enough for second in the Southern Division for the Red Sox. Salem has not swept a three-game series against the Keys since April 17-19, 2009 at Harry Grove Stadium. Salem last swept Frederick at home on May 24-27, 2007 when the Astro-affiliated Avalanche swept a five-game set.

LAST TIME OUT: The Red Sox erupted for 11 runs on 11 base hits and blasted the Frederick Keys 11-1 on Friday night. After being held hitless through the first three innings, Salem put up all 11 of its runs from innings four-seven. Newcomers Derek Miller (2-for-3, three runs scored), Jordan Procyshen (2-for-4, two RBI) and Mauricio Dubon (1-for-4, two RBI) all stood out in their first games with the Red Sox. Wendell Rijo was 2-for-5 with a double and two RBI and Forrestt Allday and Yoilan Cerse each walked twice and scored three runs.

E…NOBODY: Salem completed another nine innings with a zero in the error column in Friday’s 11-1 thumping of the Frederick Keys. It’s now been over six games since the Red Sox last committed an error. The last defensive miscue was a fielding error against Jose Vinicio in the bottom of the seventh inning during Salem’s 7-0 win on the road in Wilmington against the Blue Rocks last Wednesday. The stretch of 53.2 innings without an error is the longest of the season for the Sox.

STAY HOT: The Red Sox 11-1 win on Friday over the Frederick Keys was their second straight, seventh in the last eight and 10th in the past 12 games. The current twelve game stretch is the most prolific of the season and featured the second five-game winning streak in 2015. Salem sits at 40-32 with the eight games over .500 record marking the high water mark this year.

TAKE TWO: The Red Sox won their first game of the second half for just the third time since 2009, taking down the Frederick Keys 6-3 on Thursday night at LewisGale Field. The last two times that Salem won its first game after the All-Star break, they went on to win the Southern Division second half title. In 2009, Salem opened the second half with a 12-0 shutout of the Kinston Indians and finished tied for first at 35-35. The Red Sox cruised by the Wilmington Blue Rocks 9-2 win to begin the second half in 2013 and went on to a 43-27 mark en route to a Carolina League championship. This is the first time in the Salem Red Sox era that they have opened both halves with a victory.

HELLO NEW FRIENDS: Salem received three South Atlantic League All-Stars from Low-A Greenville with Derek Miller, Jordan Procyshen and Mauricio Dubon joining the Red Sox from the Drive. Miller has played every position in the outfield over 63 games with a .283 batting average. He has 11 doubles, 34 runs scored and 34 RBI and was the starting left fielder for the South Division in the South Atlantic League all-star game. Procyshen started at catcher in the same game after a first half in which he hit .285 with 22 runs, eight doubles, two home runs and 28 RBI. Dubon came off the bench in the All-Star game and hit .301 with 12 doubles, three triples, four home runs and 29 RBI in 58 games with Greenville. The infielder was also an All-Star in 2014 with the Lowell Spinners in the New York-Penn league.

BALL…DEALING: After a rough start to his season, Trey Ball has turned things around in his last seven starts. Since being skipped in the rotation from May 9-19, he has surrendered only eight earned runs over 37.1 innings for an ERA of 1.93. During that stretch, his season-long ERA has dropped from 6.03 to 3.80. Ball his sparkled in four starts this month (3-0, 1.25) and has excelled in eight home starts (4-3, 2.81).

LINEUP:

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Salem Sox Gameday: On the Back Nine

GAME # 72–Salem Red Sox (39-32) vs Frederick Keys (32-39)

7:05 PM, LewisGale Field, Salem, Va. 

SERIES AT A GLANCE –Second of a three-game series, Salem leads series 1-0, Salem leads season series 4-3

LAST NIGHT –  Salem 6, Frederick 3 | WP: Aaron Wilkerson (4-0), LP: Mikey O’Brien (0-2) |Recap| Infographic | Box Score

 STARTING PITCHERS – RHP Ty Buttrey (5-1, 2.68) vs. LHP Chris Lee (2-2, 4.91)

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

SOCIAL MEDIA – Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

GAME NOTES:

SERIES AT A GLANCE: The Red Sox welcome the Frederick Keys to the Roanoke Valley to kick of the second half of the 2015 season. It’s the third series between the Keys and the Sox and the second time the High-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles travels south from Maryland to visit LewisGale Field. The season series has Salem ahead 4-3 with each team earning a 2-1 series victory while playing on the road. Salem and Frederick finished the first half with the exact opposite record, 32-38 had the Keys in last place in the Northern Division while 38-32 was good enough for second in the Southern Division for the Red Sox. Four of the seven meetings between the two squads this season have been decided by only one run.

LAST TIME OUT: Salem opened the 2015 second half with a decisive 6-3 victory over the Frederick Keys on Thursday night at LewisGale Field. The Red Sox jumped out to an early lead with five runs in the first two innings. Kevin Heller went 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI, Jose Vinicio was 2-for-4 with a double and two runs scored and Jordan Weems turned in a 2-for-4 performance with a run scored. Aaron Wilkerson (4-0) kept his win/loss record perfect with five strikeouts over six three-run innings.

TAKE TWO: The Red Sox won their first game of the second half for just the third time since 2009, taking down the Frederick Keys 6-3 on Thursday night at LewisGale Field. The last two times that Salem won its first game after the All-Star break, they went on to win the Southern Division second half title. In 2009, Salem opened the second half with a 12-0 shutout of the Kinston Indians and finished tied for first at 35-35. The Red Sox cruised by the Wilmington Blue Rocks 9-2 win to begin the second half in 2013 and went on to a 43-27 mark en route to a Carolina League championship. This is the first time in the Salem Red Sox era that they have opened both halves with a victory.

SO LONG OLD FRIENDS: The Red Sox beign the second half with a few notable players absent. Manuel Margot, Sam Travis, Jake Romanski and Williams Jerez were all promoted to Double-A Portland during the All-Star break. Travis was Salem’s lone representative on the Carolina League All-Star team and at the time of his promotion, was first in the league in hits (77), third in batting average (.313), third in on-base percentage (.378), fourth in RBI (40) and tied for fifth in doubles (15). Margot was the last regular position player in minor league baseball to strike out in 2015 and was batting .282 with three home runs, five triples, 17 RBI, 35 runs and 20 stolen bases in 46 games. Romanski was batting .262 with 21 RBI and had committed only one error in 47 games, the fewest among regular catchers in the Carolina League. Jerez was in Salem for only three weeks and tallied a 1-0 record with a 0.73 ERA, only one earned run over 12.1 innings pitched.

HELLO NEW FRIENDS: Salem received three South Atlantic League All-Stars from Low-A Greenville with Derek Miller, Jordan Procyshen and Mauricio Dubon joining the Red Sox from the Drive. Miller has played every position in the outfield over 63 games with a .283 batting average. He has 11 doubles, 34 runs scored and 34 RBI and was the starting left fielder for the South Division in the South Atlantic League all-star game. Procyshen started at catcher in the same game after a first half in which he hit .285 with 22 runs, eight doubles, two home runs and 28 RBI. Dubon came off the bench in the All-Star game and hit .301 with 12 doubles, three triples, four home runs and 29 RBI in 58 games with Greenville. The infielder was also an All-Star in 2014 with the Lowell Spinners in the New York-Penn league.

SECOND HALF STALWARTS: The Salem franchise has not won a first half title since 1987, but in recent years it has performed well in the second half. Salem has finished in at least second place nine times since 2000. They have three second half titles in the same time frame (2006, 2009, 2013) and have won over 40 games twice (2006-44, 2013-43). The Red Sox have reached the playoffs in back-to-back season thanks to winning the second half in 2013 and finishing second behind first half champion Myrtle Beach last season.

LINEUP:

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Brian’s Thoughts: Moving on to the second half

EDITOR’S NOTE: Brian’s Thoughts will be a recurring segment throughout the second half of the season. It will feature analysis and random musings from Brian Gardner, the second member of the Salem Sox broadcast team.

 

With 70 games in the books, the Red Sox return to LewisGale Field for the second half with a decidedly different look. Salem said goodbye to Manuel Margot on Monday and today Sam Travis, Jake Romanski and Williams Jerez join Margot in Double-A Portland.

Margot is the highest rated prospect of the departed (#5 MLB.com) and likely the one who will be most missed. He was stellar offensively, batting .282 with 35 runs, three home runs, 17 RBI, five triples and 20 stolen bases but where he really stood out was on defense. Margot is impossibly smooth in the outfield, something that’s easy to take for granted when you watch him play every day. His reads off the bat were flawless, and on the rare occasion that he had to open it up, you showed great speed and a stellar glove with a handful of diving catches on balls he had no business tracking down.

There’s a case to be made though for Travis leaving the biggest hole as he moves on to Portland. The Baseball America scouting report on Travis says that the most common refrain on him is that he “hits the ‘bleep’ out of the ball,” and Kevin and I had many amusing off-air conversations trying to fill in that bleep. The sound of his batted ball was just…different, be it in a game or during batting practice. After his slow start to the season, there was no better hitter in the Carolina League than Sam Travis. He led the league in hits (77), was third in batting average (.313) and was fourth in RBI (40) while pacing the Red Sox in games played (66).

Romanski’s contributions were not always as loud as those of Travis or as flashy as Margot’s but the steady backstop was arguably just as important to Salem’s first half mark of 38-32. He stood out as the best defensive catcher in the league, committing only one error in the first half. Offensively he was no slouch, driving in 21 runs over 47 games with a .262 batting average.

It feels like we barely got to know Jerez, the former 2011 second round pick who began as an outfielder but converted to a pitcher after hitting .211 over three seasons and never rising past Short Season-A Lowell. The lefty started the season with Greenville and allowed only one earned run over 12.1 innings pitched in five outings with Salem. Jerez departs just three weeks after joining the team.

So who are these replacements? Who has Salem stolen from Greenville to replace their stalwarts?  Three of the Drive’s eight all-stars have arrived in the Roanoke Valley.

Derek Miller continues a quick rise through the system after being drafted in the 23rd round out of the University of Texas at Arlington in 2014. Miller stared in the Gulf Coast League in 2014 and skipped Short Season-A Lowell, starting the 2015 season with the Drive. He’s had success everywhere he’s been, starting by leading the 2014 GCL Red Sox in games (54), runs (t-31), hits (t-54), BB (27), steals (15) and OBP (.387). He hit .281 with 12 doubles and 24 RBI.

Miller was the starting left fielder for the South Division in the South Atlantic League All-Star game. At the time of his promotion he was batting .283 with 11 doubles and 34 RBI. He’s a versatile outfielder who played at least 13 games at each outfield position in 2014 and has played at least 17 games at each outfield position in 2015. He’s appeared most in right with 34 of his 63 appearances at that spot.

Jordan Procyshen was the Red Sox 14th round pick out of Northern Kentucky University in 2014 and split time between Lowell and Greenville in his first professional season. In 2015 he has 51 games in the books with the Drive and has a pair of homers and 28 RBI to go with his .285 average and eight doubles. Procyshen was the starting catcher for the South Division in the South Atlantic League All-Star game.

Mauricio Dubon is the only one of the newcomers who appears on a top 30 prospect list. MLB.com touts him as the 29th best prospect in the Red Sox system while Baseball America ranks him 23rd. Dubon was an all-star in the New York-Penn League in 2014 with Lowell. As a Spinner he hit .320 with three homers and 34 RBI over 66 games. He had the second highest batting average in the Red Sox system and in he NYPL. Dubon has been largely a second basemen in Greenville after playing shortstop for the majority of his first two pro seasons. He was batting .301 with 12 doubles, three triples, four home runs and 29 RBI.

We’ll miss the departing standouts, those we got so used to watching and almost took for granted, but it’s an exciting notion to be receiving three all-stars. The second half kicks off in Thursday at LewisGale Field with the Frederick Keys in town. Aaron Wilkerson (3-0, 1.55) will face Salem native Mikey O’Brien (0-1, 3.00).

Salem Sox Gameday: Finishing the First Half

GAME # 70–Salem Red Sox (38-31) vs Winston-Salem Dash (29-40)

5:00 PM, BB&T Ballpark, Winston-Salem, N.C. 

SERIES AT A GLANCE –Fourth of a four-game series, Salem leads series 3-0, Salem leads season series 11-6

LAST NIGHT – (Suspended game) Winston-Salem 8, Salem 2 | WP: Yency Almonte (1-0), LP: Ty Buttrey (5-1) |Recap| Infographic | Box Score

(Regularly scheduled game) Salem 7, Winston-Salem 2 | WP: Teddy Stankiewicz (2-8), LP: Brandon Brennan (0-1) | Recap | Infographic | Box Score

 STARTING PITCHERS – RHP Kevin McAvoy (4-5, 3.78) vs. LHP Brian Clark (2-2, 3.06)

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

SOCIAL MEDIA – Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

GAME NOTES: 

SERIES AT A GLANCE: The Red Sox wrap up the first half of the 2015 season with five games in four days against the Winston-Salem Dash. The Sox and Dash have already played 17 times against one another this year with Salem holding a 10-5 lead in the season series, including a 6-4 mark at BB&T Ballpark. The two squads will meet just six times in the second half of the season.

LAST TIME OUT: The Red Sox split the quasi-doubleheader on Saturday at BB&T Ballpark with an 8-2 loss in the suspended game that began on June 2 and a 7-2 victory in the originally scheduled game. The loss eliminated them from contention for the first half Southern Division title and allowed the Myrtle Beach Pelicans to clinch a playoff spot. Salem managed only four hits in the first game, with Yoilan Cerse and Deiner Lopez each going 1-for-3 with an RBI. Teddy Stankiewicz (2-8) earned his second win of the season in the second game with two runs allowed on four hits over six innings. Manuel Margot launched a leadoff homer and finished 2-for-4 with three runs scored, Mario Martinez was 2-for-4 with three RBI and Sam Travis went 2-for-3 with two RBI.

STILL PLAYING: A day after the Red Sox were eliminated from contention for the first half Southern Division title they finish out the first half with a game that marks just the second time Salem has played while eliminated. A win on Sunday, however, would mean a season-best six game winning streak for the Sox thanks to the stats from the suspended game dating back to June 2. Salem today attempts to win at least 39 games in the first half for the eighth time in franchise history. Salem has secured its first winning first half since 2012 when they were 42-28-1.

WE’RE GOING STREAKING: Salem is currently playing its best baseball of the season, winning five straight, eight of the last nine and 11 of the previous 14 contests. The Sox five-game winning streak is tied with a five-game stretch from May 23-28 for the longest win streak this year. A win today would give Salem its first six-game winning streak since it won eight in a row from August 7-17 last season.

FEASTING ON THE DASH: The Red Sox 7-2 win last night improved their season-long mark against the Dash to 11-6. Salem has only fared better against are the Potomac Nationals (6-2) and the Wilmington Blue Rocks (5-1). Manuel Margot (9-26, .346), Deiner Lopez (5-14, .357) and Tzu-Wei Lin (.309, 17-55) have especially enjoyed hitting against the Dash. Salem’s pitching staff has impressed as well, earning a 3.20 ERA in the 17 games, highlighted by Aaron Wilkerson (0.53 ERA, 1 ER, 17 IP), Teddy Stankiewicz (1.71 ERA, 4 ER, 21 IP), Chandler Shepherd (2.08 ERA, 2 ER, 8.2 IP) and Kevin McAvoy (2.19 ERA, 3 ER, 12.1 IP).

ROAMING THE BASES: Jake Romanski has reached base in 19 consecutive games for the Red Sox, setting a new team season-high. During his current stretch, which dates back to May 22, Romanski is hitting .292 (19-65, 2B, 10 R, 8 RBI, 11 BB, 9 K) while posting a .410 OBP. Since the streak started, Salem’s backstop has had just nine off days in 28 total games. After a solid start to the season in which he hit .341 in April, Romanski struggled to a .210 clip in May. In June, though, he has gotten back into the swing of things with a .282 (11-39) average in 12 games. The 19-game on-base streak is the longest active stretch in the league and three shy of tying the overall league lead.

HE’S HEATING UP: With his two hits last night, Jordan Betts continued his strong month of June. Betts entered the month hitting just .187 on the season, but has seen that average increase to .214 thanks to hitting .276 (16-58) in the season’s third month. All three of Betts’ home runs this year have come on the road in June: 6/1 at Winston-Salem, 6/9 at Lynchburg, and 6/16 at Wilmington. An 18th round pick out of Duke last season, Betts has hit safely in 12 of 16 games in June with nine of his 16 hits going for extra bases (6 2B, 3 HR). Those knocks have helped Betts drive in 11 runs in 16 games this month after having 7 RBI in 41 games prior.

LINEUP:

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Salem Sox Gameday: A Sort of Doubleheader

GAMES#52/69–Salem Red Sox (37-30) vs Winston-Salem Dash (28-39)

4:30 PM, BB&T Ballpark, Winston-Salem, N.C. 

SERIES AT A GLANCE –Third of a four-game series, Salem leads series 2-0, Salem leads season series 10-5

LAST NIGHT – Salem 5, Winston-Salem 3 | WP: Trey Ball (6-5), LP: Robinson Leyer (2-6) |Recap| Infographic | Box Score

GAME # 52 STARTING RELIEVERS – RHP Taylor Grover (2-1, 3.29) vs RHP Yency Almonte (0-0, —) 

GAME # 69 STARTING PITCHERS – LHP Teddy Stankiewicz (1-8, 3.97) vs. RHP Brandon Brennan (0-0, 2.25)

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

SOCIAL MEDIA – Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

GAME NOTES:

SERIES AT A GLANCE: The Red Sox wrap up the first half of the 2015 season with five games in four days against the Winston-Salem Dash. Salem enters today 2.5 games back of Myrtle Beach, putting the Red Sox elimination number at 1. The Sox and Dash have already played 15 times against one another this year with Salem holding a 10-5 lead in the season series, including a 5-3 mark at BB&T Ballpark.

LAST TIME OUT: The Red Sox won their fourth straight game and seventh of their last eight, beating the Winston-Salem Dash 5-3 on Friday night at BB&T Ballpark. Manuel Margot was 2-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored and Sam Travis was 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI. Yoilan Cerse launched a two-run home run in the third inning to give Salem the lead for good, his first home run in the Red Sox organization. Trey Ball (6-5) picked up his team-leading sixth win with three runs allowed on six hits over six innings. German Taveras earned his second save with three shutout innings, striking out a career-high five.

SO YOU’RE SAYING THERE’S A CHANCE: Salem enters this evening’s double-dip 2.5 games behind the first place Myrtle Beach Pelicans. With three games left in the half, the Red Sox elimination number sits at 1. Salem has made up 4.5 games since June 2, when they trailed by 7.0 games. Yesterday’s win, combined with Myrtle Beach’s win kept the Sox to within 2.5 games of first place, but moved them to the brink of elimination. The Salem franchise has gone since 1988, a span of 27 years, without winning a first half division title.

WE’RE GOING STREAKING: A win in the originally scheduled game on Saturday would give the Red Sox a five-game winning streak, equaling their season high. Salem last won five in a row from 5/23-28 on the heels of a five-game losing streak. The current stretch of seven wins in the last eight games is the best eight-game stretch for the Red Sox this season and the longest they have gone with only one loss.

WHICH SERIES IS THIS?: The stretch of five games in four days between the Red Sox and Dash will include the continuation of a suspended game from the previous trip to BB&T Ballpark. The series finale on June 2 was suspended in the bottom of the second inning with two outs and Salem trailing 3-0. The 52nd game of the year will be resumed at 4:30 today, followed by the third game of the current series and 69th game of the season in an unorthodox twinbill. The delay will have lasted 17 days, 20 hours and 26 minutes when the game resumes. The back end of the doubleheader will be a seven-inning game. Since the stats will revert back to that date and time, former Salem outfielder Cole Sturgeon, now with Double-A Portland, will see his team-high 11-game hitting streak drop to nine games.

FEASTING ON THE DASH: The Red Sox 5-3 win on Friday night improved their season-long mark against the Dash to 10-5. Salem has only fared better against are the Potomac Nationals (6-2) and the Wilmington Blue Rocks (5-1). Tzu-Wei Lin (.333, 16-48), Manuel Margot (7-18, .389) and Deiner Lopez (4-11, .364) have especially enjoyed hitting against the Dash. Salem’s pitching staff has impressed as well, earning a 2.89 ERA in the 15 games, highlighted by Aaron Wilkerson (0.53 ERA, 1 ER, 17 IP), Teddy Stankiewicz (1.20 ERA, 2 ER, 15 IP), Chandler Shepherd (2.08 ERA, 2 ER, 8.2 IP) and Kevin McAvoy (2.19 ERA, 3 ER, 12.1 IP).

ROAMING THE BASES: Jake Romanski has reached base in 18 consecutive games for the Red Sox, setting a new team season-high. During his current stretch, which dates back to May 22, Romanski is hitting .290 (18-62, 2B, 8 R, 8 RBI, 10 BB, 9 K) while posting a .413 OBP. Since the streak started, Salem’s backstop has had just eight off days in 26 total games. After a solid start to the season in which he hit .341 in April, Romanski struggled to a .210 clip in May. In June, though, he has gotten back into the swing of things with a .278 (10-36) average in 11 games. The 18-game on-base streak is the longest active stretch in the league and four shy of tying the overall league lead.

SUSPENDED GAME LINEUP:

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Salem Sox Gameday: Staying Alive

GAME #68–Salem Red Sox (36-30) vs Winston-Salem Dash (28-38)

7:00 PM, BB&T Ballpark, Winston-Salem, N.C. 

SERIES AT A GLANCE –Second of a four-game series, Salem leads series 1-0, Salem leads season series 8-5

LAST NIGHT – Salem 8, Winston-Salem 2 | WP: Ty Buttrey (5-0), LP: Jordan Guerrero (0-1) |Recap| Infographic | Box Score

STARTING PITCHERS – LHP Trey Ball (5-5, 3.73) vs. RHP Robinson Leyer (2-5, 4.91)

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

SOCIAL MEDIA – Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

GAME NOTES:

SERIES AT A GLANCE: The Red Sox wrap up the first half ot the 2015 season with five games in four days against the Winston-Salem Dash. Salem enters the set three games back of Myrtle Beach, putting the Red Sox elimination number at 2. The Sox and Dash have already played 13 times against one another this season with Salem holding an 8-5 lead in the season series, including a 3-3 mark at BB&T Ballpark.

LAST TIME OUT: The Red Sox put up eight runs on nine hits and never trailed in a 8-2 thumping of the Winston-Salem Dash on Thursday night at BB&T Ballpark. Ty Buttrey went seven innings with four strikeouts while allowing only one run on four hits. Deiner Lopez was 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI, Tzu-Wei Lin drove in a pair while going 2-for-5 and Manuel Margot scored twice and tallied an RBI with a 2-for-4 effort. Salem never trailed and won for the sixth time in its last seven games.

SO YOU’RE SAYING THERE’S A CHANCE: Salem enters this evening’s contest 2.5 games behind the first place Myrtle Beach Pelicans. With four games left in the half, the Red Sox elimination number sits at 2. Salem has made up 4.5 games since June 2, when they trailed by 7.0 games. Yesterday’s win, combined with Myrtle Beach’s rainout moved the Sox to within 2.5 games of first place for the first time since a win in game two of a doubleheader against Carolina on May 9, when they were 2.0 games back. The Red Sox are looking to make history as the Salem franchise has gone since 1988, a span of 27 years, without winning a first half division title.

BALL…DEALING: Trey Ball limited Wilmington to just four hits over four-plus shutout innings in Salem’s 7-0 win on Sunday. It was the fourth time in his last five outings that Ball did not allow a run and he now owns a streak of 15.2 consecutive scoreless innings, the longest for a Salem pitcher this year. Tuesday’s effort lowered his ERA to 3.73 with that mark dropping considerably since Ball was skipped in the rotation from May 9-May 19. In six starts since being skipped, he has surrendered only five earned runs over 31 innings for an ERA of 1.46.

ROAMING THE BASES: Jake Romanski has reached base in 18 consecutive games for the Red Sox, setting a new team season-high. During his current stretch, which dates back to May 22, Romanski is hitting .290 (18-62, 2B, 8 R, 8 RBI, 10 BB, 9 K) while posting a .413 OBP. Since the streak started, Salem’s backstop has had just seven off days in 25 total games. After a solid start to the season in which he hit .341 in April, Romanski struggled to a .210 clip in May. In June, though, he has gotten back into the swing of things with a .278 (10-36) average in 11 games. The 18-game on-base streak is the longest active stretch in the league and four shy of tying the overall league lead.

SHUT IT DOWN: Wednesday’s 7-0 victory over Wilmington served as the 10th shutout win for the Red Sox in 2015. Salem’s 10 shutouts are the most in the league and they have been shut out the fewest times, only once on May 22, a 4-0 loss at home to the Dash. It was the fourth shutout in the last 11 games for the Sox, three of which came in a five-game stretch against Wilmington. Salem’s staff ERA over the last 11 contests sits at 2.37 (25 ER/95 IP) with 14 of the earned runs coming in two games against Lynchburg. The Sox have not allowed more than four runs in a game since June 11 in a 10-4 loss to Lynchburg. In addition, Salem has the second-best ERA in the league in June at 3.24.

WHICH SERIES IS THIS?: The stretch of five games in four days between the Red Sox and Dash will include the continuation of a suspended game from the previous trip to BB&T Ballpark. The series finale on June 2 was suspended in the bottom of the second inning with two outs and Salem trailing 3-0. The 52nd game of the year will be resumed at 4:30 on Saturday, followed by the third game of the current series and 69th game of the season in an unorthodox twinbill. The delay will have lasted 17 days, 20 hours and 26 minutes when the game resumes. The back end of the doubleheader will be a seven-inning game.

LINEUP: 

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Salem Sox Gameday: Back in Winston-Salem

GAME #67–Salem Red Sox (35-30) vs Winston-Salem Dash (28-37)

7:00 PM, BB&T Ballpark, Winston-Salem, N.C. 

SERIES AT A GLANCE –First of a four-game series, Salem leads season series 8-5

LAST NIGHT – Salem 7, Wilmington 0 | WP: Aaron Wilkerson (3-0), LP: Cody Reed (5-5) |Recap| Infographic | Box Score

STARTING PITCHERS – RHP Ty Buttrey (4-0, 2.06) vs. LHP Jordan Guerrero (0-0, 5.63)

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

SOCIAL MEDIA – Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

GAME NOTES:

SERIES AT A GLANCE: The Red Sox wrap up the first half ot the 2015 season with five games in four days against the Winston-Salem Dash. Salem enters the set three games back of Myrtle Beach, putting the Red Sox elimination number at 2. The Sox and Dash have already played 13 times against one another this season with Salem holding an 8-5 lead in the season series, including a 3-3 mark at BB&T Ballpark.

LAST TIME OUT: Aaron Wilkerson took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and the offense provided plenty of support in a 7-0 whitewashing of the Wilmington Blue Rocks on Wednesday night at Frawley Stadium. Wilkerson (3-0) gave up just two hits in six innings of work, striking out seven against just one walk. Sam Travis blasted a two-run homer, his fifth, Mario Martinez added a two-run single, Jordan Weems hit his first home run of the season and Jose Vinicio capped the outburst with a two-run single of his own.

SO YOU’RE SAYING THERE’S A CHANCE: Salem enters this evening’s contest 3.0 games behind the first place Myrtle Beach Pelicans. With five games left in the half, the Red Sox elimination number sits at 2. Salem has made up four games since June 2, when they trailed by 7.0 games. Yesterday’s win, combined with Myrtle Beach’s win over Winston-Salem kept the Sox three games back. Salem has not been within 2.0 games of first place since a win in game two of a doubleheader against Carolina on May 9. The Red Sox are looking to make history as the Salem franchise has gone since 1988, a span of 27 years, without winning a first half division title.

SHUT IT DOWN: Yesterday’s 7-0 victory over Wilmington served as the 10th shutout win for the Red Sox in 2015. Salem’s 10 shutouts are the most in the league and they have been shut out the fewest times, only once on May 22, a 4-0 loss at home to the Dash. It was the fourth shutout in the last 10 games for the Sox, three of which have come in the last five games against Wilmington. Salem’s staff ERA over the last 10 contests sits at 2.40 (23 ER/86 IP) with 14 of the earned runs coming in two games against Lynchburg. The Sox gave up just eight earned runs in its six-game stretch against Wilmington, good for a 1.34 ERA. In addition, Salem has the best ERA in the league in June at 3.32.

HE’S HEATING UP: With his solo home run in the top of the ninth on Tuesday, Jordan Betts continued his strong month of June. Betts entered the month hitting just .187 on the season, but has seen that average increase to .214 thanks to hitting .279 (12-43) in the season’s third month. All three of Betts’ bombs this year have come on the road in June: 6/1 at Winston-Salem, 6/9 at Lynchburg, and 6/16 at Wilmington. An 18th round pick out of Duke last season, Betts has hit safely in nine of 12 games in June with seven of his 12 hits going for extra bases (4 2B, 3 HR). Those knocks have helped Betts drive in 11 runs in 11 games this month after having 7 RBI in 41 games prior.

ROAMING THE BASES: Jake Romanski has reached base in 17 consecutive games for the Red Sox, tying him for the team season-high set by Kevin Heller from May 9-29. During his current stretch, which dates back to May 22, Romanski is hitting .305 (18-59, 2B, 8 R, 8 RBI, 8 BB, 9 K) while posting a .414 OBP. Since the streak started, Salem’s backstop has had just seven off days in 24 total games. After a solid start to the season in which he hit .341 in April, Romanski struggled to a .210 clip in May. In June, though, he has gotten back into the swing of things with a .303 (10-33) average in 10 games. Despite reaching base on a HBP on Tuesday, his six-game hitting streak came to an end.

RAZOR THIN MARGINS: The Red Sox have played in plenty of close games this season. Of the 65 contests, all but 20 have been decided by three runs or less. In 17 one-run games, the Sox are now 12-5, the best mark in the league in games decided by the slimmest of margins. Salem has tallied an 8-9 record in two-run games this year and posted a 4-6 mark in three-run contests. The Red Sox have played 21 games featuring final margins of victory more than three runs and hold a 11-10 record in those situations.

LINEUP:

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Salem Sox Gameday: Going for a Series Win

GAME #66–Salem Red Sox (34-30) vs Wilmington Blue Rocks (35-30)

6:35 PM, Frawley Stadium, Wilmington, DE 

SERIES AT A GLANCE –First of a three-game series, Series tied 1-1, Salem leads season series 4-1

LAST NIGHT – Salem 4, Wilmington 3 | WP: Taylor Grover (2-1), LP: Matt Alvarez (1-2) |Recap| Infographic | Box Score

STARTING PITCHERS – RHP Aaron Wilkerson (2-0, 1.82) vs. LHP Cody Reed (5-4, 1.72)

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

SOCIAL MEDIA – Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

GAME NOTES:

SERIES AT A GLANCE: The Red Sox hit the road for the final eight games of the first half of the 2015 season. Salem starts the trip with one of only two visits to Wilmington’s Frawley Stadium. The Sox are coming off a series sweep of the Rocks and enter tonight three games back of Myrtle Beach with six games to play. Salem won the season series in 2014 with a 14-6 mark, including an 6-4 record at Frawley Stadium. Salem has played the fewest road games in the league (27), but is one of only two teams with a winning road record (14-13).

LAST TIME OUT: Jordan Betts blasted a solo home run with two strikes and two outs in the top of the ninth, helping lead the Salem Red Sox to a 4-3 win over the Wilmington Blue Rocks on Tuesday night at Frawley Stadium. Betts hit one of two homers for Salem, the other being a solo shot from Manuel Margot in the top of the seventh. Taylor Grover (2-1) saw his scoreless innings streak come to an end, giving up a run in the last of the seventh, but earned the win by giving up just two total hits with four strikeouts in three innings.

SO YOU’RE SAYING THERE’S A CHANCE: Salem enters this evening’s contest just 3.0 games behind the first place Myrtle Beach Pelicans. With six games left in the half, the Red Sox elimination number sits at 3. Salem has made up four games since June 2, when they trailed by 7.0 games. Yesterday’s win, combined with Myrtle Beach’s win over Winston-Salem kept the Sox three games back. Salem has not been within 2.0 games of first place since a win in game two of a doubleheader against Carolina on May 9. The Red Sox are looking to make history as the Salem franchise has gone since 1988, a span of 27 years, without winning a first half division title.

GUESS WHO’S BACK: Aaron Wilkerson returns to the rotation today after alternating between bullpen appearances and a spot start in his last three outings. Wilkerson has been dominant as a starter with the Red Sox this season, registering a 2-0 record with a 1.00 ERA in five opportunities. In 27 innings while starting, the righthander has given up just five runs (three earned) while limiting opponents to a .135 average against. He has yet to allow more than one earned run and three hits in any start with Salem this season.

HE’S HEATING UP: With his solo home run in the top of the ninth last night, Jordan Betts continued his strong month of June. Betts entered the month hitting just .187 on the season, but has seen that average increase to .214 thanks to hitting .308 (12-39) in the season’s third month. All three of Betts’ bombs this year have come on the road in June: 6/1 at Winston-Salem, 6/9 at Lynchburg, and 6/16 at Wilmington. An 18th round pick out of Duke last season by the Red Sox, Betts has hit safely in nine of 11 games in June with seven of his 12 hits going for extra bases (4 2B, 3 HR). Those knocks have helped Betts drive in 11 runs in 11 games this month after having 7 RBI in 41 games prior.

ROAMING THE BASES: Jake Romanski has reached base in 17 consecutive games for the Red Sox, tying him for the team season-high set by Kevin Heller from May 9-29. During his current stretch, which dates back to May 22, Romanski is hitting .305 (18-59, 2B, 8 R, 8 RBI, 8 BB, 9 K) while posting a .414 OBP. Since the streak started, Salem’s backstop has had just six off days in 23 total games. After a solid start to the season in which he hit .341 in April, Romanski struggled to a .210 clip in May. In June, though, he has gotten back into the swing of things with a .303 (10-33) average in 10 games. Despite reaching base on a HBP yesterday, his six-game hitting streak came to an end.

RAZOR THIN MARGINS: The Red Sox have played in plenty of close games this season. Of the 64 contests, all but 20 have been decided by three runs or less. In 17 one-run games, the Sox are now 12-5, the best mark in the league in games decided by the slimmest of margins. Salem has tallied an 8-9 record in two-run games this year and posted a 4-6 mark in three-run contests. The Red Sox have played 20 games featuring final margins of victory more than three runs and hold a 10-10 record in those situations.

LINEUP: Daily Lineup 6-17

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