Who has the best lights in town? Vote now for your favorite in our holiday lights contest.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
It's how you finish: Shut down by one of the top prospects in baseball early, the Salem Red Sox responded late.
Keury De La Cruz smacked a two-run walk-off double in the bottom of the ninth inning to cap a three-run uprising, leading the Sox to a 5-4 victory over the Wilmington Blue Rocks on Wednesday in front of 1,309 at Salem Memorial Ballpark.
The comeback: Salem trailed 4-2 heading into the bottom of the ninth. Sean Coyle led off with a single, and Nick Natoli drew a walk to put Wilmington reliever Andrew Triggs in a pressure spot.
Garin Cecchini then slapped a possible double-play ball to the shortstop, but Kenny Diekroeger mishandled it to load the bases. Brandon Jacobs hit a sacrifice fly to right to make it 4-3.
Up stepped De La Cruz, who'd already hit one walk-off this young season. He drove a pitch into deep right-center, scoring Natoli and Cecchini to bring the Sox (9-9) to the .500 mark for the first time this season.
In the swing of things: Cecchini continues to impress as Salem's leading hitter. He went 2 for 3 with two walks, raising his average to .344.
"I feel real comfortable," said Cecchini, 22, who batted .305 at Greenville last season. "It's all about making adjustments. Last year, an 0-0 count, probably 90 percent of the time they'd throw a fastball. And here, it's a little bit lower.
"When you get in those hitters' counts, you don't see as many fastballs. You will see an occasional fastball, but they're starting to pitch more up here. You've got to make adjustments, kind of like a cat-and-mouse game."
Tough draw: The Red Sox struggled in the early going against Wilmington starter Kyle Zimmer, who's rated the No. 34 prospect in the minors by MLB.com.
He showed why, using a mid-90s fastball and sharp curve to strike out 11 Red Sox batters.
He wouldn't have won the game even had the Blue Rocks (9-10) held on, though. Wilmington manager Vance Wilson pulled Zimmer in the fifth inning after the right-hander surrendered a two-out walk to Cecchini.
Loose ends: Coyle, returning to the lineup after missing the first two games of the series, went 2 for 5 and hit his fourth home run in the seventh inning. Matty Ott pitched three scoreless innings of relief to keep the Sox close.
On deck: The Sox close out the four-game series with RHP Mike Augliera (2-0) opposing Wilmington LHP John Lamb (1-2, 3.46) at 7:05 tonight.
Weather JournalStorm track isn't very snowy for us