Sox pitcher Stephen Fife struck out seven opposing Keys batters in route to a Salem victory tonight. Fife began the game with a rough first inning where he allowed two runs, one of which was earned to put the Keys up 2-0. The Red Sox answered in the first and second innings with Mike Jones hitting an RBI single to right to bring home Zack Borowiak in the first and Negron and Lin bringing home two in the second inning off an RBI triple and single respectively. The Sox took a commanding 4-2 lead in the sixth inning when an insurance run scored on a fielding error by Frederick Keys second baseman Ryan Adams brought Jon Hee home from third. Fife ended his second straight strong outing pitching 5.2 innings scattering six hits and allowing no walks. The Salem bullpen also pitched exceptionally well with reliever Robert Coello pitchig 2.1 innings striking out five Keys and Loop delivering his second save in as many nights bringing his season total to 14. Tonight’s win brings the Salem Red Sox second half record to 16-10 and extends their lead over second place Myrtle Beach, now 3.5 games behind the Sox.
Tomorrow begins a three game set against the North Division leaders the Potomac Nationals. The Mayberry Deputy will be making an appearance tomorrow evening with the gates opening at 5:30pm. There will also be live music performed by Madrone and a mystery giveaway, which let me say is pretty awesome. Saturday the gates open at 4:30pm and the Zooperstars will be making an appearance as well as some great music performed by The Elderly Brothers. So make it out to the ballpark Friday and Saturday for some of the best promotions of the season and some great baseball as well! Have a great night and I’ll see you at the ballpark!
Salem Red Sox shortstop Yamaico Navarro has been promoted to Double-A Portland this afternoon and the Sox recieved infielder Jon Hee from Single-A Greenville. Navarro batted .319 with four homeruns and 17 RBI’s during his time in Salem. His stint with the Salem Red Sox was cut short opening day when he suffered an apparent arm injury and he returned to the ballclub in late June. Jon Hee returns to Salem after spending the months of June and early July in Greenville. Hee played his first game with the Sox this season on May 1st and stayed with the team untilt the end of June. During his first stint in Salem Hee had an 11 game hitting streak early on before struggling mightily in the month of June.
The loss of Navarro creates an opportunity for Hee to return to Single-A Salem and recieve consistent at-bats and the opportunity to prove the month of June was a fluke, not the month of May. Navarro will join six former Salem Red Sox players in Double-A Portland including former Sox outfielders Ryan Kalish and Jason Place.
Tonight the Sox send Jose Capellan to hill to face the Keys. During Capellan’s last start he pitched 5.0 innings of scoreless baseball allowing only three hits against the Dash on June 14th. He looked good in his last performance throwing almost exclusively a buffet of fastballs to to the Winston-Salem Dash. Tonight will be an opportunity for Capellan to prove that he deserves a spot in a rotation that currently features six starters (Weiland, Capellan, Fife, Price, Garrison and Portice).
The Salem Red Sox don’t dial 911 when there is an emergency, but call the bullpen to put out late inning fires at Salem Memorial Ballpark. The Salem bullpen has been dominant during the 2009 season with 2.28 ERA in the month of June and a 2.82 ERA in the month of July. All-Star Derrick Loop is still a dominate stopper for the Salem staff even without All-Star setup man Ryne Miller who was promoted the Double-A Portland to begin the month of July. Loop leads the Red Sox with 12 saves on the season and has eliminated opposing baserunners with his lethal pickoff move. Loop demonstrated his closing ability Friday night in Lynchburg pitching 3.0 innings, allowing only two hits and striking out five Hillcat batters.
The loss of South division All-Star MVP Ryne Miller has not impacted the bullpen because the Red Sox have more than two “All-Star” relievers. Flame throwing righty Jason Rice has overwhelmed Carolina League opposition this season leading Salem relievers in strikeouts with 68 in only 49.0 innings of work. Reliever Robert Coello has also bolstered the relief corps with his veteran experience. Coello has made 20 appearances this season and has held opposing batters to a .167 batting average in 42.0 innings. The bullpen has also received valuable assistance from a name many Red Sox fans will find familiar. Sidearming righty Josh Papelbon, has confounded batters this season by forcing batters to ground out air placing him fourth on the team in double plays and a 3.08 ERA.
The Salem Red Sox recently added a new arm to the pitching staff in lefty Armando Zerpa. The Caracas, Venezuela native was added to the pitching staff after excelling in Single-A Greenville pitching 42.0 innings and saving two games for the Drive. Zerpa is not the only new addition to the Red Sox bullpen; he is joined by former starter Dave McKae who has been working out of the pen after suffering an injury earlier this season.
The Sox return home Tuesday at 7:05pm to face Northern division rival, the Frederick Keys. Tuesday’s game is the first of a six-game homestand against the Keys and Potomac Nationals.
The Sox took the first game of the three-game series against the Wilmington Blue Rocks. Starter Kyle Weiland pitched six strong innings strinking out seven Blue Rocks batters, three of which were set down in a row to end the sixth.
All-Star relievers Ryne Miller and Derrick Loop sealed the deal for the Salem Sox with the help of an Exposito single to lead off the seventh inning and a Lin RBI single to left to drive in the go-ahead run, Lin’s second RBI in the game. Mike Jones helped the struggling Sox offense by adding two RBI’s of his own with a two-run bomb to center in the fourth.
The Salem Red Sox welcomed home an old friend today in outfielder Daniel Nava. Nava immediately contributed to the Sox offensive output by launching a double into right during the fourth inning. Right-fielder Jason Place was promoted to Double-A Portland today. This move will allow former Golden League MVP Daniel Nava an opportunity to take advatange of increased plate appearances.
Tomorrow night is Awful Night at Salem Memorial Ballpark and it is going to be a blast! We will have an awesomely awful giveaway for the first 1,000 fans at the ballpark. We are also going to have a rocking live band perform and awful fireworks! So come on out to Salem Memorial Ballpark Saturday night for another great night of Sox baseball.