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Salem Sox Gameday: The Final Roadtrip

GAME # 133–Salem Red Sox (60-72/22-40) vs Lynchburg Hillcats (70-63/37-26)

6:30 PM, Lynchburg City Stadium, Lynchburg, Va.

SERIES AT A GLANCE – First of a three-game series, Lynchburg leads season series 15-8

LAST GAME –  Potomac 4, Salem 1 | WP: Tyler Mapes (5-3), LP: Brandon Show (1-1) |Recap|InfographicBox Score

 STARTING PITCHERS – RHP Teddy Stankiewicz (3-11, 4.11) vs. RHP Mitch Brown (9-11, 4.84)

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

SOCIAL MEDIA – Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

GAME NOTES:

SERIES AT A GLANCE: The Red Sox embark on their final road trip of the season, beginning with a three-game set in Lynchburg against the Hillcats. Salem faces Lynchburg more than any other team in 2015, as these three games will conclude a 26-game season series between the Red Sox and the Hillcats. Lynchburg’s magic number for clinching a playoff berth is one, so any Hillcat victory or loss by the Frederick Keys will give Lynchburg the second half North division title. Salem’s final seven games will take place on the road, as it will finish with four at Potomac after the three-game series with Lynchburg.

LAST TIME OUT: Kyle Kraus allowed only three hits and one run with three strikeouts over six innings but the Red Sox gave up a run in the eighth and two in the ninth and dropped the home finale 4-1 to the Potomac Nationals. Jordan Procyshen was 2-for-4 with a double and scored the only Salem run. Yoilan Cerse went 3-for-4 with a double and Franklin Guzman was 2-for-4. Brandon Show (1-1) took the loss by allowing three runs, two earned, on five hits in three innings out of the bullpen.

DO YOU REMEMBER THE FIRST DAY OF SEPTEMBER: Thanks in part to a chain-reaction due to the expansion of major league rosters on the first of September, the Red Sox have transferred OF Forrestt Allday, C Danny Bethea and RHP Kyle Kaminska to Double-A Portland. Bethea and Kaminska have each appeared with the Sea Dogs in 2015 but Allday will appear in Double-A for the first time. As a corresponding move, the Sox have received C Carlos Coste from Short Season-A Lowell.

ODD COUPLE: At the end of the season, the Red Sox will have played the Hillcats 26 times, despite the Red Sox and the Hillcats appearing in opposite divisions. Lynchburg will be Salem’s most frequent opponent, with 19 of the meetings taking place in the second half. Lynchburg has taken 15 of the first 23 meetings thanks to a .280 team batting average. Conversely, Salem is batting .245 against Lynchburg and has an ERA of 5.05. The road team has won 17 of the 23 meetings in the series with the Red Sox taking six of 10 in Lynchburg.

SHARP UP THE MIDDLE: Wendell Rijo struggled at times in the field in the first half, committing nine errors in 49 games played. His defense has been much stronger in the second half of the season, though, as Rijo has only made two errors in 53 games played to this point. Rijo hasn’t committed an error since July 28, a span of 26 games. The bat has been more potent in the second half as well, batting .268 as opposed to .236 in the first half, including a .287 clip in 23 games during August.

THE WOULD-BE LEAGUE LEADER: Kevin Heller has put up career numbers in 2015 with the Red Sox, as he leads the team in batting average (.293), home runs (7), RBI (49) and on base percentage (.410). Heller has appeared in 86 games with Salem, but his 346 plate appearances do not qualify him for the Carolina League leaderboard. His average would place him second in the league and the on base percentage would lead the circuit. In the final seven games of the season, Heller needs to record 30 plate appearances (4.29 per game) to reach the required minimum of 376 to appear on the league leaderboard. In his previous 86 games, he has averaged 4.02 plate appearances.

HOME RUNS FOUND: Franklin Guzman’s solo shot on Thursday night was Salem’s seventh home run of August and the fifth in as many days. Homers have been at a premium this season as the Red Sox’ 49 bombs are the third fewest in the league, ahead of Potomac’s 47 and Winston-Salem’s 48. Salem has homered in just 42 games, posting a 21-21 mark. The franchise record for fewest homers in a season is 51 set by the 1979 Salem Pirates. Salem hit just 19 home runs at LewisGale Field this season, which established a newSalem Memorial Ballpark record-low. The previous record was 23 home runs hit by the 1999 Salem Avalanche.

LINEUP:

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Salem Red Sox Gameday: McGrath vs. Spann

GAME # 130–Salem Red Sox (59-70/21-38) vs Potomac Nationals (60-69/27-32)

7:05 PM, LewisGale Field, Salem, Va.

SERIES AT A GLANCE – Second of a four-game series, Salem leads series 1-0, Salem leads season series 9-6

LAST GAME –  Salem 5, Potomac 2 | WP: Kevin McAvoy (10-9), LP: Jake Johansen (1-7) |Recap|InfographicBox Score

 STARTING PITCHERS – LHP Daniel McGrath (2-6, 4.05) vs. LHP Matthew Spann (2-6, 4.67)

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

SOCIAL MEDIA – Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

GAME NOTES:

SERIES AT A GLANCE: The Red Sox and the Potomac Nationals renew acquaintances for a four-game series at LewisGale Field, the final four home games of 2015. Salem owns a 9-6 season series advantage over Potomac including a 7-5 mark at home. Seven of the remaining 10 games on the Red Sox schedule will be played against the Nationals, as Salem finishes the season with a four-game series at Pfitzner Stadium from September 4-7. Potomac, with an elimination number of three, can be eliminated from playoff contention in this series.

LAST TIME OUT: Kevin McAvoy struck out five over seven one-run innings and the Red Sox scored two in the seventh and two in the eighth en route to a 5-2 victory over the Potomac Nationals on Thursday. Wendell Rijo went 2-for-4 with two RBI and drove in two in the seventh to give the Red Sox the lead for good. Franklin Guzman was 3-for-4 with a solo home run. McAvoy allowed only five hits over his seven innings and earned his fifth win in his last five starts. Kyle Kaminska tossed two innings with one run allowed to earn his third save of the season.

THE WOULD-BE LEAGUE LEADER: Kevin Heller has put up career numbers in 2015 with the Red Sox, as he leads the team in batting average (.299), home runs (7), RBI (47) and on base percentage (.414). Heller has appeared in 83 games with Salem, but his 333 plate appearances do not qualify him for the Carolina League leaderboard. His average would place him second in the league and the on base percentage would lead the circuit. In the final ten games of the season, Heller needs to record 45 plate appearances to reach the required minimum of 378 to appear on the league leaderboard. In his previous 83 games, he has averaged 4.01 plate appearances per game.

HOME RUNS FOUND: Franklin Guzman’s solo shot last night was Salem’s seventh home run of August and the fifth in as many days. Homers have been at a premium this season as the Red Sox’ 49 bombs are the third fewest in the league, ahead of Potomac’s 46 and Winston-Salem’s 47. Salem has homered in just 42 games, posting a 21-21 mark. The franchise record for fewest homers in a season is 51 set by the 1979 Salem Pirates. Salem has hit just 19 home runs at LewisGale Field this season and will need a late boom to avoid setting a Salem Memorial Ballpark record-low, currently set at 23 by the 1999 Salem Avalanche.

MO HITS FOR MO: Mauricio Dubon went 1-for-4 in last night’s win, keeping his batting average at a season-best .255. An All-Star with Low-A Greenville in the first half, Dubon struggled at the outset of the second half with Salem, batting just .056 (1-for-18) in his first five games. A move to the leadoff spot has helped propel Dubon, who is batting .299 (29-97) in 26 games as the leadoff hitter as opposed to .214 (22-103) in 27 games elsewhere. Over his current seven-game hitting streak, Dubon is batting .385 (10-26), raising his average 19 points.

SO LONG, OUR TIME HERE IS UP: The Red Sox play their final three home games of 2015 against the Potomac Nationals before embarking on a seven-game road trip to finish the season. Salem has enjoyed moderate success at LewisGale Field in 2015, playing to a 30-36 record, but only a 10-18 mark in the second half. The Sox are batting .267 at home and score 4.0 runs per game, while allowing 4.3. Kevin Heller (.324, 2 HR, 21 RBI), Jordan Procyshen (.304, 2 2B, 5 RBI) and Mario Martinez (.284, 12 2B, 5 HR, 26 RBI) have all had significant success at home in 2015. The team as a whole is batting 21 points higher than they are on the road (.246).

UNLUCKY 70: Wednesday’s 8-4 loss to the Lynchburg Hillcats gave the Red Sox their 70th loss of the season, the first time since 2011 that Salem has lost 70 games. The Red Sox finished the 2011 campaign 64-75, one of two times in the Salem Red Sox era that the team lost at least 70 times, with the first such instance occurring in 2009 when the team went 67-72. Salem will need to go at least 6-4 in the final ten games to avoid equaling the 2011 Red Sox for the worst record in the Red Sox era.

LINEUP: 

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Salem Sox Gameday: Red Sox – P-Nats

GAME # 129–Salem Red Sox (58-70/20-38) vs Potomac Nationals (60-68/27-31)

7:05 PM, LewisGale Field, Salem, Va.

SERIES AT A GLANCE – First of a four-game series, Salem leads season series 8-6

LAST GAME –  Lynchburg 8, Salem 4 | WP: Justin Brantley (5-5), LP: German Taveras (4-4) |Recap|InfographicBox Score

 STARTING PITCHERS – RHP Kevin McAvoy (9-9, 4.08) vs. RHP Austen Williams (4-4, 2.62)

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

SOCIAL MEDIA – Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

GAME NOTES:

SERIES AT A GLANCE: The Red Sox and the Potomac Nationals renew acquaintances for a four-game series at LewisGale Field, the final four home games of 2015. Salem owns an 8-6 season series advantage over Potomac including a 6-5 mark at home. Eight of the remaining 11 games on the Red Sox schedule will be played against the Nationals, as Salem finishes the season with a four-game series at Pfitzner Stadium from September 4-7. Potomac, with an elimination number of five, can be eliminated from playoff contention in this series.

LAST TIME OUT: Salem took a one-run lead thanks to a four-run fifth inning, but were felled by a five-run seventh as they dropped the rubber match of the three-game series with the Lynchburg Hillcats 8-4 on Wednesday. Teddy Stankiewicz retired 10 of the final 11 batters he faced, but was tagged with a no decision after allowing three runs on four hits and five walks in six innings. German Taveras took the loss after allowing five runs, two earned, on three hits and three walks in one inning. Mario Martinez was 1-for-4 and capped the four-run fifth with a three-run home run, Kevin Heller went 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI and Yoilan Cerse finished 2-for-4 with a walk and a run scored.

SO LONG, OUR TIME HERE IS UP: The Red Sox play their final four home games of 2015 against the Potomac Nationals before embarking on a seven-game road trip to finish the season. Salem has enjoyed moderate success at LewisGale Field in 2015, playing to a 29-36 record, but only a 9-18 mark in the second half. The Sox are batting .267 at home and score 3.98 runs per game, while allowing 4.34. Kevin Heller (.331, 2 HR, 21 RBI), Jordan Procyshen (.315, 2 2B, 4RBI) and Mario Martinez (.284, 12 2B, 5 HR, 26 RBI) have all had significant success at home in 2015. The team as a whole is batting 21 points higher than they are on the road (.246).

MAC ATTACK: Today’s starting pitcher Kevin McAvoy has pitched extremely well as of late, earning victories in each of his past four starts. In his last five starts dating back to July 26, he is 4-1 with a 2.10 ERA and has lowered his season-long ERA from 4.70 to 4.08. The 2014 fourth round draft pick out of Bryant University has faced Potomac four times in 2015 and is 2-2 with a 1.42 ERA. In back-to-back appearances against the P-Nats July 26 and July 31, he did not allow an earned run over 13.2 innings pitched.

HOME RUNS FOUND: Mario Martinez’s three-run blast last night was just Salem’s sixth home run of August, but the fourth in as many days. Homers have been at a premium this season as the Red Sox’ 48 bombs are the third fewest in the league, ahead of Potomac’s 46 and Winston-Salem’s 47. Salem has homered in just 41 games, posting a 20-21 mark. The franchise record for fewest homers in a season is 51 set by the 1979 Salem Pirates. Salem has hit just 18 home runs at LewisGale Field this season and will need a late boom to avoid setting a Salem Memorial Ballpark record-low, currently set at 23 by the 1999 Salem Avalanche.

MO HITS FOR MO: Mauricio Dubon went 2-for-4 in Tuesday’s loss to Lynchburg, pushing his batting average to a season-best .255. An AllStar with Low-A Greenville in the first half, Dubon struggled at the outset of the second half with Salem, batting just .056 (1-for-18) in his first five games. A move to the leadoff spot has helped propel Dubon, who is batting .301 (28-93) in 25 games as the leadoff hitter as opposed to .214 (22-103) in 27 games elsewhere. Over his current six-game hitting streak, Dubon is batting .409 (9-22), raising his average 19 points.

BACK FROM PORTLAND: Kyle Kaminska rejoined the Salem Sox yesterday after appearing twice with Double-A Portland, tallying a 1.35 ERA and one save over 6.2 innings pitched. In his first stint with Salem in 2015, he was 1-2 with two saves and a 3.03 ERA. Originally a 25th round draft pick of the Florida Marlins, Kaminska spent part of 2013 with Salem before announcing his retirement from baseball. He came out of retirement this summer and had two scoreless appearances with Low-A Greenville before being assigned to Salem on June 19.

LINEUP:

8-27 LINEUP

Salem Sox Gameday: We Play On

Before we get to the usual gameday post, I’d like to take a moment to express heartfelt condolences to the families of Alison Parker and Adam Ward, as well as all of those associated with WDBJ7 after the tragic shooting this morning. Next to each coaches box today, the Channel 7 logo is painted on the field. It’s worth your time to view some of the coverage from WDBJ as they remembered the lives of Allison and Adam earlier today.

Now, on to baseball.

GAME # 128–Salem Red Sox (58-69/20-37) vs Lynchburg Hillcats (66-62/33-25)

7:05 PM, LewisGale Field, Salem, Va.

SERIES AT A GLANCE – Third of a three-game series, series tied 1-1, Lynchburg leads season series 14-8

LAST GAME –  Lynchburg 4, Salem 2 | WP: Luis Lugo (8-10), LP: Trey Ball (8-13) |Recap| InfographicBox Score

 STARTING PITCHERS – LHP Trey Ball (8-12, 4.77) vs. LHP Luis Lugo (7-10, 4.24)

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

SOCIAL MEDIA – Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

GAME NOTES:

SERIES AT A GLANCE: The Salem Red Sox and Lynchburg Hillcats renew acquaintances for a three-game at LewisGale Field, beginning the final homestand of 2015. Lynchburg leads the season series 14-8 and swept the Sox in the last meeting between the two clubs from July 28-30. The Hillcats and Red Sox have gone in opposite directions in the second half. Lynchburg leads the Northern Division at 33-25, 4.0 games clear of the Frederick Keys while Salem is in last place in the Southern Division at 20-37, 16 games behind Winston-Salem. The Red Sox have four games remaining against the Hillcats, as they will see them for a three-game series in Lynchburg September 1-3.

LAST TIME OUT: Kevin Heller launched a two-run home run in the last of the first inning, but that was all for the Salem offense as they fell 4-2 to the Lynchburg Hillcats on Tuesday night at LewisGale Field. Lynchburg tied the game in the second inning on an RBI double and RBI groundout before taking the lead for good on a two-run single from LeVon Washington in the top of the fourth inning. That was the last batter that Salem starter Trey Ball faced as he lasted just 3.2 innings, giving up four runs on six hits and three walks. Heller homered for the second time in three days, going 2-for-4 with two RBI. Mauricio Dubon added two hits as well.

ODD COUPLE: At the end of the season, the Red Sox will have played the Hillcats 26 times, despite the Red Sox and the Hillcats appearing in opposite divisions. Lynchburg will be Salem’s most frequent opponent, with 19 of the meetings taking place in the second half. Lynchburg has taken 14 of the first 22 meetings thanks to a .280 team batting average. Conversely, Salem is batting .246 against Lynchburg and has an ERA of 5.05. Salem held Lynchburg to just two runs Monday night, the Hillcats’ lowest output against the Sox in a nine-inning game this year.

HOME RUNS FOUND: Kevin Heller’s two-run blast last night was just Salem’s fifth home run of August, but the third in as many days. Homers have been at a premium this season as the Red Sox’ 47 bombs are tied for the second-fewest in the league, ahead of Potomac’s 45. Salem has homered in just 40 games, posting a 20-20 mark. The franchise record for fewest homers in a season is 51 set by the 1979 Salem Pirates. Salem has hit just 17 home runs at LewisGale Field this season and will need a late boom to avoid setting a Salem Memorial Ballpark record-low, currently set at 23 by the 1999 Salem Avalanche. The Sox look to hit home runs in four straight games for the first time this year.

MO HITS FOR MO: Mauricio Dubon went 2-for-4 in Tuesday’s loss to Lynchburg, stretching his hitting streak to six games and pushing his batting average to .255, the highest point it has been with the Red Sox. An All-Star with Low-A Greenville in the first half of the season, Dubon struggled at the outset of the second half with Salem, batting just .056 (1-for-18) in his first five games. A move to the leadoff spot has helped propel Dubon, who is batting .301 (28-93) in 25 games as the number one hitter as opposed to .214 (22-103) in 27 games at any other spot in the batting order. Over his current six-game hitting streak, Dubon is batting .409 (9-22) and has raised his average from .236 to .255.

LONG SHORT STREAK: Zach Kapstein went 0-for-4 last night, ending his hitting streak AT six games. Kapstein recorded a base hit in every game in which he had an at bat in August, but had only appeared in seven of the previous 20 games for Salem this month. He raised his average from .205 to .286 in the process by going 10-for-24 (.417) with a double, four runs scored, and four RBI.

BACK FROM PORTLAND: Kyle Kaminska rejoins the Salem Sox today after appearing twice with Double-A Portland, tallying a 1.35 ERA and one save over 6.2 innings pitched. In his first stint with Salem in 2015, he was 1-2 with two saves and a 3.03 ERA. Originally a 25th round draft pick of the Florida Marlins, Kaminska spent part of 2013 with Salem before announcing his retirement from baseball. He came out of retirement this summer and had two scoreless appearances with Low-A Greenville before being assigned to Salem on June 19.

LINEUP:

Daily Lineup 8-26

Salem Sox Gameday: Three in a row

GAME # 127–Salem Red Sox (58-68/20-36) vs Lynchburg Hillcats (65-62/32-25)

7:05 PM, LewisGale Field, Salem, Va.

SERIES AT A GLANCE – Second of a three-game series, Salem leads series 1-0, Lynchburg leads season series 14-7

LAST GAME –  Salem 4, Lynchburg 2 | WP: Ty Buttrey (8-8), LP: Jayson Aquino (0-2) |Recap| InfographicBox Score

 STARTING PITCHERS – LHP Trey Ball (8-12, 4.77) vs. LHP Luis Lugo (7-10, 4.24)

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

SOCIAL MEDIA – Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

GAME NOTES:

SERIES AT A GLANCE: The Salem Red Sox and Lynchburg Hillcats renew acquaintances for a three-game at LewisGale Field, beginning the final homestand of 2015. Lynchburg leads the season series 13-8 and swept the Sox in the last meeting between the two clubs from July 28-30. The Hillcats and Red Sox have gone in opposite directions in the second half. Lynchburg leads the Northern Division at 32-25, 3.5 games clear of the Frederick Keys while Salem is in last place in the Southern Division at 20-36, 16 games behind Winston-Salem. The Red Sox have five games remaining against the Hillcats, as they will see them for a three-game series in Lynchburg September 1-3.

LAST TIME OUT: The Red Sox recorded 12 hits and scored three of their four runs with two outs as they beat the Lynchburg Hillcats 4-2 on Monday. Salem trailed 2-1 after three but struck for one run in each of the next three innings. Cole Sturgeon went 3-for-5 with a run and an RBI and Mike Meyers was 2-for-4 including a home run, two runs scored and two RBI. Jordan Procyshen went 2-for-3 and Kevin Heller was 2-for-4 with a triple. Ty Buttrey earned the win with six innings, allowing only two runs on three hits and four walks while striking out five. Salem beat Lynchburg for only the second time at home in 2015 and the win was its third in a row.

WELCOME HOME: In his first two at-bats at LewisGale Field, Mike Meyers recorded an RBI. After joining the Red Sox at the beginning of the past road trip, Meyers played his first game in Salem during Monday’s 4-2 win over Lynchburg and introduced himself to the crowd with an RBI single in the first and a solo home run in the fourth. In 92 games with the Greenville Drive in 2015, Meyers batted .296 with five homers and 40 RBI, including a .312 mark with three home runs and 23 RBI in 46 home games.

THAT’S CALLED A WINNING STREAK: Yesterday’s 4-2 victory over Lynchburg secured Salem’s third straight win. After dropping five straight series, the Sox have an opportunity to win back-to-back sets for the first time since mid-June when they took three of four from Winston-Salem to end the first half and two of three from Frederick to start the second half. Salem has not won a home series since July 22- 24 against Wilmington. The Sox look for a fourth straight win for the first time since winning a season-high 5 in a row from June 16-20.

ODD COUPLE: At the end of the season, the Red Sox will have played the Hillcats 26 times, despite the Red Sox and the Hillcats appearing in opposite divisions. Lynchburg will be Salem’s most frequent opponent, with 19 of the meetings taking place in the second half. Lynchburg has taken 13 of the first 21 meetings thanks to a .280 team batting average. Conversely, Salem is batting .247 against Lynchburg and has an ERA of 5.16. Salem held Lynchburg to just two runs last night, the Hillcats’ lowest output against the Red Sox in a nine-inning game this year.

LONG SHORT STREAK: Zach Kapstein went 1-for-4 with two RBI on Friday night, extending his hitting streak to six games. Kapstein has recorded a base hit in every game in which he has an at bat in August, but has only appeared in seven of the 17 games for Salem this month. He has raised his average from .205 to .286 in the process by going 10-for-24 (.417) with a double, four runs scored, and four RBI. He has recorded a multi-hit game in four of the six outings.

HOME RUNS WANTED: Mike Meyers’ solo blast last night was just Salem’s fourth home run of August, but the second in as many days. Homers have been at a premium this season as the Red Sox’ 46 bombs are the second-fewest in the league, ahead of just Potomac’s 45. Salem has homered in just 39 games, posting a 20-19 mark. The franchise record for fewest homers in a season is 51 set by the 1979 Salem Pirates. Salem has hit just 16 home runs at LewisGale Field this season and will need a late boom to avoid setting a Salem Memorial Ballpark record-low, currently set at 23 by the 1999 Salem Avalanche. The Sox look to hit home runs in three straight games for the first time this year.

LINEUP:

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Salem Sox Gameday: The Final Homestand

GAME # 126–Salem Red Sox (57-68/19-36) vs Lynchburg Hillcats (65-61/32-24)

7:05 PM, LewisGale Field, Salem, Va.

SERIES AT A GLANCE – First of a three-game series, Lynchburg leads season series 13-7

LAST GAME –  Salem 5, Wilmington 1 | WP: Daniel McGrath (2-6), LP: Jake Junis (4-11) |RecapBox Score

 STARTING PITCHERS – RHP Ty Buttrey (7-8, 4.05) vs. LHP Jayson Aquino (0-1, 2.84)

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

SOCIAL MEDIA – Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

GAME NOTES:

SERIES AT A GLANCE: The Salem Red Sox and Lynchburg Hillcats renew acquaintances for a three-game at LewisGale Field, beginning the final homestand of 2015. Lynchburg leads the season series 13-7 and swept the Sox in the last meeting between the two clubs from July 28-30. The Hillcats and Red Sox have gone in opposite directions in the second half. Lynchburg leads the Northern Division at 32-24, four games clear of the Frederick Keys while Salem is in last place in the Southern Division at 19-36, 16 games behind Winston-Salem. The Red Sox have six games remaining against the Hillcats, as they will see them for a three-game series in Lynchburg September 1-3.

LAST TIME OUT: Daniel McGrath struck out eight over six shutout innings and the Red Sox cruised to a 5-1 victory over the Wilmington Blue Rocks on Sunday. McGrath did not allow a Blue Rock to reach base until the ninth batter of the game as he struck out five of the first eight that he faced. He allowed only two hits and did not walk a batter. Kevin Heller went 1-for-2 with a two-run home run and drove in one more with a sacrifice fly. Mauricio Dubon was 2-for-4 and Cole Sturgeon scored two runs and drove in one more, finishing 1-for-4 with a double. Brandon Show picked up his first career save with one run allowed on one hit in three innings with three strikeouts.

WE WIN ONE TODAY, THAT’S CALLED A WINNING STREAK: Sunday’s 5-1 victory over Wilmington secured a series victory for the Red Sox, the first series that they had taken in their past six. Salem has lost five straight series, dating back to July 31-August 2 when it won two out of three at Potomac. Three of the five series losses have been sweeps and the Sox only won two games over that time, August 6 vs Frederick and August 12 vs Myrtle Beach. Salem has not won a home series since taking two of three against Wilmington from July 22-24.

ODD COUPLE: At the end of the season, the Red Sox will have played the Hillcats 26 times, despite the Red Sox and the Hillcats appearing in opposite divisions. Lynchburg will be Salem’s most frequent opponent, with 19 of the meetings taking place in the second half. Lynchburg has taken 13 of the first 20 meetings thanks to a .285 team batting average. Conversely, Salem is batting .242 against Lynchburg and has an ERA of 5.33. The Hillcats have won nine of the ten prior meetings at LewisGale Field with the lone Salem home victory taking place July 18.

LONG SHORT STREAK: Zach Kapstein went 1-for-4 with two RBI on Friday night, extending his hitting streak to six games. Kapstein has recorded a base hit in every game in which he has an at bat in August, but has only appeared in seven of the 17 games for Salem this month. He has raised his average from .205 to .286 in the process by going 10-for-24 (.417) with a double, four runs scored, and four RBI. He has recorded a multi-hit game in four of the six outings.

HI, MY NAME IS: The Red Sox roster has been a revolving door in 2015 and another new face appeared on Wednesday when outfielder Mike Meyers was promoted to Salem and Mario Martinez was placed on the disabled list. Meyers represents the 48th player to play for Salem this season, tying the all-time franchise record set by the 1988 Salem Buccaneers. Meyers is also the 27th different position player to appear on the roster, tying the record set by the 2014 Red Sox. Part of the reason for the rotating roster has been the mass exodus to Portland; Kyle Kaminska’s promotion makes it 16 Salem Sox to receive the call-up to Double-A in 2015.

HOME RUNS WANTED: Kevin Heller’s two-run blast last night was just Salem’s third home run of August. Homers have been at a premium this season as the Red Sox’ 45 bombs are the fewest in the league. Salem has homered in just 38 games, posting a 19-19 mark. The franchise record for fewest homers in a season is 51 set by the 1979 Salem Pirates. Salem has hit just 15 home runs at LewisGale Field this season and will need a late boom to avoid setting a Salem Memorial Ballpark record-low, currently set at 23 by the 1999 Salem Avalanche.

LINEUP:

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Salem Sox Gameday: Goodbye Zebulon

GAME # 122–Salem Red Sox (55-66/17-34) vs Carolina Mudcats (63-58/29-23)

7:00 PM, Five County Stadium, Zebulon, N.C.

SERIES AT A GLANCE – Third of a three-game series, Carolina leads series 2-0, Carolina leads season series 12-9

LAST GAME –  Carolina 13, Salem 6 | WP: Yean Carlos Gil (2-9), LP: Ty Buttrey (7-8) |Recap| InfographicBox Score

 STARTING PITCHERS – LHP Trey Ball (8-11, 4.32) vs. LHP Matt Bywater (0-1, 0.00)

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

SOCIAL MEDIA – Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

GAME NOTES:

SERIES AT GLANCE: The Red Sox make their final trip to Zebulon, N.C. to visit the Carolina Mudcats for a three-game series. After playing two of its first three road series against Carolina, Salem visits Five County Stadium for the first time since April 26. The Sox have managed nine wins of the 21 previous meetings and dropped two of three against the Mudcats in their only prior series of the second half, July 7-9.

LAST TIME OUT: Cole Sturgeon set a new career-high with five RBI but the Red Sox stranded 11 baserunners and lost to the Carolina Mudcats 13-6 on Wednesday night. Ty Buttrey (7-8) took the loss with nine runs allowed on nine hits and five walks in three plus innings while striking out four. He allowed five runs in the second inning including a grand slam to Dustin Peterson. Sturgeon finished 2-for-4 with a home run and a single, equaling Jordan Betts’ five-RBI output from June 9 for the most in a single game this season. Betts was 2-for-3 on Wednesday with a walk and a run scored, Deiner Lopez went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored and Zach Kapstein was 2-for-4.

LONG SHORT STREAK: Zach Kapstein went 2-for-4 during Wednesday’s loss to the Carolina Mudcats, extending his hitting streak to five games. Kapstein has recorded a base hit in every game in which he has appeared in August, but has only appeared in five of the 15 games for Salem this month. He has raised his average from .205 to .288 in the process by going 9-for-20 (.450) with a double, four runs scored, an two RBI. He has recorded a multi-hit game in four of the five outings.

A SIGNIFICANT SLUMP: After a win over Lynchburg on July 18 improved the Red Sox to 11-12 in the second half, Salem has fallen into an elongated swoon. Yesterday’s 13-6 loss to Carolina was the fifth straight and ninth in the last 10 games. Going back further, Salem has dropped 12 of its last 14, 18 of the last 22 contests and 22 of their previous 28 games. During the 28-game stretch, Salem has been shut out seven times, something that had only happened twice before July 19. The Red Sox have won six games by a total of 36-15, but have been outscored 132-48 in their last 22 losses. Salem has scored three runs or fewer in 19 of the 28 games, averaging a total of 3.0 runs per contest. Conversely, the pitching staff has yielded four or more runs in 18 of the 28 games, giving up an average of 5.3 runs per contest.

HI, MY NAME IS: The Red Sox roster has been a revolving door in 2015 and another new face appeared on Wednesday when outfielder Mike Meyers was promoted to Salem and Mario Martinez was placed on the disabled list. Meyers represents the 48th player to play for Salem this season, tying the all-time franchise record set by the 1988 Salem Buccaneers. Meyers is also the 27th different position player to appear on the roster, tying the record set by the 2014 Red Sox. Part of the reason for the rotating roster has been the mass exodus to Portland; Kyle Kaminska’s promotion makes it 16 Salem Sox to receive the call-up to Double-A in 2015.

HOME RUNS WANTED: Cole Sturgeon’s two-run blast in the fifth inning of last night’s 13-6 loss to Carolina was just Salem’s second home run of the month of August. Homers have been at a premium this season as the Red Sox’ 44 bombs are the second-fewest in the league, ahead of just Winston-Salem’s 43. Salem has homered in just 37 games, posting an 18-19 mark. The franchise record for fewest home runs in a season is 51 set by the 1979 Salem Pirates. Salem has hit just 15 home runs at LewisGale Field this season and will need a late boom to avoid setting a Salem Memorial Ballpark record. The 1999 Salem Red Sox currently have the record of fewest homers at home with just 23.

CLOSING OUT THE SOUTH: Salem’s three-game set against Carolina marks the final series of the season against a South division opponent. Salem’s second half schedule has been heavy on North foes, as the Sox will play only 20 games against teams from the South. The Sox have struggled against teams in their own division this half, owning a 3-16 mark against Carolina, Myrtle Beach and Winston-Salem.

LINEUP:

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Salem Red Sox Gameday: Back in Zebulon

GAME # 120–Salem Red Sox (55-64/17-31) vs Carolina Mudcats (61-58/27-23)

7:00 PM, Five County Stadium, Zebulon, N.C.

SERIES AT A GLANCE – First of a three-game series, Carolina leads season series 10-9

LAST GAME –  Winston-Salem 7, Salem 3 | WP: Jake Cose (7-3), LP: Trey Ball (8-11) |Recap| InfographicBox Score

 STARTING PITCHERS – LHP Daniel McGrath (1-5, 4.40) vs. RHP Brandon Barker (7-3, 3.00)

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

SOCIAL MEDIA – Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

GAME NOTES:

SERIES AT GLANCE: The Red Sox make their final trip to Zebulon, N.C. to visit the Carolina Mudcats for a three-game series. After playing two of its first three road series against Carolina, Salem visits Five County Stadium for the first time since April 26. The Sox have managed nine wins of the 19 previous meetings and dropped two of three against the Mudcats in their only prior series of the second half, July 7-9.

LAST TIME OUT: The Red Sox and Dash were cancelled after rain created wet grounds and an unplayable playing surface. Salem was trailing the contest 2-0 in the last of the third inning with runners at first and second when a pop-up thunderstorm sprouted over Salem and did not leave the area for over an hour. With no future meetings scheduled, the game was cancelled with no make-up date.

HE’S HEATING UP: With three hits and a run scored in Saturday’s loss to Winston-Salem, Jordan Betts raised his batting average to a season-high .221. Betts has now hit safely in five of his last six games and 12 of his last 15, posting a .290 average in the 15 contests (16-for- 55, 3 2B, 3B, 5 R, 5 RBI). The second-year pro who skipped Low-A Greenville is the first Salem player to appear in 100 games this season.

A SIGNIFICANT SLUMP: After a win over Lynchburg on July 18 improved the Red Sox to 11-12 in the second half, Salem has fallen into an elongated swoon. Saturday’s 7-3 loss to Winston-Salem was the third straight and seventh in the last eight games. Going back further, Salem has dropped 10 of their last 12, 16 of the last 20 contests and 20 of their previous 26 games. During the 26-game stretch, Salem has been shut out seven times, something that had only happened twice before July 19. The Red Sox have won six games by a total of 36-15, but have been outscored 116-40 in their last 20 losses. Salem has scored three runs or fewer in 18 of the 26 games, averaging a total of 2.9 runs per contest. Conversely, the pitching staff has yielded four or more runs in 17 of the 26 games, giving up an average of 5.8 runs per contest.

HI, MY NAME IS: The Red Sox roster has been a revolving door in 2015 and another new face appeared today when outfielder Mike Meyers was promoted to Salem and Mario Martinez was placed on the disabled list. Meyers will represent the 48th player to play for Salem this season, tying the all-time franchise record of 48 set by the 1988 Salem Buccaneers. Meyers is also the 27th different position player to appear on the roster, tying the record of 27 set by the 2014 Red Sox. Part of the reason for the rotating roster has been the mass exodus to Portland; Kyle Kaminska’s promotion makes it 16 Salem Sox to receive the call-up to Double-A in 2015.

CLOSING OUT THE SOUTH: Salem’s three-game set against Carolina marks the final series of the season against a South division opponent. Salem’s second half schedule has been heavy on North foes, as the Red Sox will play only 20 games against teams from the South. The Red Sox have struggled against teams in their own division this half, owning a 3-14 mark against Carolina, Myrtle Beach and Winston-Salem. This is Salem’s first visit to Carolina since making the trip to Zebulon twice in April.

HOME RUNS WANTED: Yoilan Cerse’s two-run blast in the second inning of Wednesday’s 5-4 win over Myrtle Beach was Salem’s first home run of the month of August. Salem had not launched a long ball since Kevin Heller took Reynaldo Lopez deep on July 31 in the Red Sox 5-1 victory over Potomac. Homers have been at a premium this season as the Red Sox’ 43 bombs are tied with Winston-Salem for the second-fewest in the league. Only Potomac (42) has hit fewer. In the 36 games in which Salem has homered, its record is only 18-18, including a 5-8 mark at home. The franchise record for fewest home runs in a season is 51 set by the 1979 Salem Pirates. Salem has hit just 15 home runs at LewisGale Field this season and will need a late boom to avoid setting a Salem Memorial Ballpark record. The 1999 Salem Red Sox currently have the record of fewest homers at home with just 23.

LINEUP:

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Salem Avalanche Gameday: Turn Back the Clock Night

GAME # 119–Salem Avalanche (55-63/17-30) vs Winston-Salem Dash (60-58, 30-18)

6:05 PM, LewisGale Field, Salem, Va. 

SERIES AT A GLANCE – Second of a three-game series, Winston-Salem leads series 1-0,  season series tied 11-11

LAST NIGHT –  Winston-Salem 2, Salem 1 | WP: Jordan Guerrero (5-3), LP: Ty Buttrey (7-7) |Recap| InfographicBox Score

 STARTING PITCHERS – LHP Trey Ball (8-10, 4.19) vs. RHP Carson Fulmer (0-0, 3.60)

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

SOCIAL MEDIA – Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

GAME NOTES:

SERIES AT A GLANCE: The Avalanche welcome the Winston-Salem Dash to LewisGale Field for a three-game series, closing out the season-long matchup between the division rivals. After meeting up 18 times in the first half, Salem and Winston-Salem will only play six times in the second half. In the previous second half series, the Dash swept the Avalanche in a three-game set from August 7-9 at BB&T Ballpark. The Avalanche took 11 of the 18 first half meetings, but the Dash have won all four matchups in the second half to even the season set.

LAST TIME OUT: Ty Buttrey was masterful but ended up the hard-luck loser as he was outdueled by Jordan Guerrero and the WinstonSalem Dash snuck past the Salem Avalanche 2-1 on Friday night at LewisGale Field. Buttrey (1-1) allowed two runs, one earned, on three hits with four strikeouts through seven innings. The Dash got both of their runs in the fourth inning and the three hits against Buttrey were all that they managed. Salem’s lone RBI came from Jordan Betts, who singled in Forrestt Allday in the seventh. Betts went 1-for-3 with said RBI and Allday was 1-for-4 with a stolen base. No Salem player recorded more than one hit in the contest.

FIRST ROUNDERS SQUARE OFF: Saturday’s pitching matchup features a pair of recent first-round draft picks on the bump. Trey Ball the seventh overall pick by Boston in the 2013 draft, starts for Salem. The New Castle, Indiana native was drafted out of high school after originally committing to Texas and is in his first season in High-A. The Dash trot out 2015 eighth-overall selection Carson Fulmer, who the Chicago White Sox drafted after his junior season at Vanderbilt. He was originally taken by Boston in the 15th round in 2012 out of high school but chose to attend college. Although Ball is in his third professional season and Fulmer is in his first, Ball is six months and 13 days younger than Fulmer. This will be the second time in the past week that the two have faced one another, as they started Sunday’s 10-3 Winston-Salem victory at BB&T Ballpark. In that game, Fulmer earned a no decision with three shutout innings and three strikeouts. Ball took the loss by allowing six runs on eight hits with five strikeouts.

A SIGNIFICANT SLUMP: After a win over Lynchburg on July 18 improved the Avalanche to 11-12 in the second half, Salem has fallen into an elongated swoon. Yesterday’s 2-1 loss gave the Avalanche six setbacks in their last seven games, while they have lost nine of their last 11, 15 of the last 19 contests and 19 of their previous 25 games. During the 25-game stretch, Salem has been shut out seven times, something that had only happened twice before July 19. The Avalanche have won six games by a total of 36-15, but have been outscored 109-37 in their last 19 losses. Salem has scored three runs or fewer in 17 of the 25 games, averaging a total of 2.9 runs per contest. Conversely, the pitching staff has yielded four or more runs in 16 of the 25 games, giving up an average of 5.0 runs per contest.

INDY BALL TO TRIPLE-A: Jorge Marban made his Triple-A debut with Pawtucket last night and picked up the win with 1.2 scoreless innings. The reliever began his Red Sox career with Salem this season after signing with Boston out of the independent ranks this past winter. Marban pitched in 2014 with the Florence Freedom of the Frontier League and the Perth Heat of the Australian Baseball League. He is in his second stint in affiliated baseball after spending two years in the Texas Rangers organization from 2010-11. Marban was 2-1 with a 1.69 ERA and a save in eight games with Salem and with Double-A Portland he went 2-1 with a 1.36 ERA and five saves in 24 appearances.

TONIGHT’S JERSEYS: As part of the season-long celebration of LewisGale Field’s 20th anniversary, the team will be wearing special Salem Avalanche jerseys tonight. The black and purple uniforms represent the 2001 championship team that was an affiliate of the Colorado Rockies. The 2001 Avalanche beat Wilmington 3-2 in the Mills Cup. The team featured 12 future major leaguers including Garrett Atkins, Luis Ayala, Clint Barmes, Aaron Cook, and Matt Holliday. The jerseys will be auctioned off with proceeds benefitting the Roanoke Rescue Mission.

LINEUP:

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Salem Sox Gameday: Star Wars Night!

GAME # 118–Salem Red Sox (55-62/17-30) vs Winston-Salem Dash (59-58, 29-18)

7:05 PM, LewisGale Field, Salem, Va. 

SERIES AT A GLANCE – First of a three-game series, Salem leads season series 11-10

LAST NIGHT –  Myrtle Beach 9, Salem 3 | WP: Daury Torrez (9-6), LP: Daniel McGrath (1-5) |RecapBox Score

 STARTING PITCHERS – RHP Ty Buttrey (7-6, 3.49) vs. LHP Jordan Guerrero (4-3, 4.11)

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

SOCIAL MEDIA – Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

GAME NOTES:

REBELS VS EMPIRE: The Red Sox welcome the Winston-Salem Dash to LewisGale Field for a three-game series, closing out the seasonlong matchup between the division rivals. After meeting up 18 times in the first half, Salem and Winston-Salem will only play six times in the second half. In the previous second half series, the Dash swept the Red Sox in a three-game set from August 7-9 at BB&T Ballpark. The Red Sox took 11 of the 18 first half meetings, but after the Dash’s sweep last weekend, Salem has a slim 11-10 advantage in the season series.

A LONG TIME AGO IN A GALAXY FAR, FAR AWAY: Myrtle Beach struck for five runs in the fourth inning and cruised to a 9-3 victory over the Red Sox on Thursday night at LewisGale Field. Daniel McGrath (1-5) did not allow a hit through three innings, but took the loss by allowing five runs, four earned, on five hits with three walks and two strikeouts in 5.2 innings pitched. Forrestt Allday was 3-for-5 with a run scored, Yoilan Cerse went 2-for-4 with an RBI double and a run scored and Deiner Lopez drove in two runs in a 1-for-3 outing. The Red Sox outhit the Pelicans 14-8, but committed three errors that resulted in four unearned runs.

BIDDING FAREWELL TO THE DEATH STAR: Salem’s next six games will come against South division opponents, representing the final six games against divisional foes in 2015. After the three-game set with Winston-Salem, the Red Sox will visit Zebulon, NC for a three-game series with Carolina. Salem’s second half schedule has been heavy on North division foes, as the Sox will play only 21 games against teams from the South. The Red Sox have struggled against teams in their own division this half, owning a 3-12 mark against Carolina, Myrtle Beach and Winston-Salem. Salem finished its season series 5-13 against the Pelicans, its lowest win percentage ever vs Myrtle Beach.

HELP US OBI-WAN KENOBI: After a win over Lynchburg on July 18 improved the Red Sox to 11-12 in the second half, Salem has fallen into an elongated swoon. Yesterday’s 9-3 loss gave the Sox five setbacks in their last six games, while they have lost eight of their last 10, 14 of the last 18 contests and 18 of their previous 24 games. During the 24-game stretch, Salem has been shut out seven times, something that had only happened twice before July 19. The Sox have won six games by a total of 36-15, but have been outscored 107-36 in their last 16 losses. Salem has scored three runs or fewer in 16 of the 24 games, averaging a total of 3.0 runs per contest. Conversely, the pitching staff has yielded four or more runs in 16 of the 24 games, giving up an average of 5.1 runs per contest.

WHAT HAVE YOU DONE? I’M BACKWARDS: After last night’s 9-3 loss to Myrtle Beach, the Red Sox are now just 3-8 in the first 11 games of August, the worst 11-game stretch to begin the year’s eighth month in the Salem Red Sox era. The 2015 Salem Sox have surpassed to 2009 iteration who began the month 1-6 but reeled off four-straight wins and went on to finish 13-15 in August. In the 11 games this month, the Sox have been shut out three times and outscored 59-39. The Salem Sox traditionally have been hot in August, especially in recent years. The 2013 Mills Cup Champion team was an astonishing 22-8 in August while 2014’s squad went 18-10 to help push its way into the playoffs.

THIS ISN’T THE RECORD YOU’RE LOOKING FOR: Yoilan Cerse’s two-run blast in the second inning of Wednesday’s 5-4 win over Myrtle Beach was Salem’s first home run of the month of August. Salem had not launched a long ball since Kevin Heller took Reynaldo Lopez deep on July 31 in the Sox 5-1 victory over Potomac. Homers have been at a premium this season as the Red Sox’ 43 bombs are tied with Winston-Salem for the second-fewest in the league. Only Potomac (42) has hit fewer. In the 36 games in which Salem has homered, its record is only 18-18, including a 5-8 mark at home. The franchise record for fewest home runs in a season is 51 set by the 1979 Salem Pirates. Salem has hit just 15 home runs at LewisGale Field this season and will need a late boom to avoid setting a Salem Memorial Ballpark record. The 1999 Salem Avalanche currently have the record of fewest homers at home with just 23.

LINEUP:

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