POZO STICK: Yohel Pozo hit a tie-breaking double in the top of the seventh inning, leading the Down East Wood Ducks to a 6-5 victory over the Salem Red Sox on Thursday in front of an announced crowd of 2,307 at Haley Toyota Field.
The Sox (35-47 overall, 10-5 second half) had twice rallied from deficits but could not mount a third comeback.
NOT GIVING UP: Down East looked like it might cruise to an easy win when it took a 4-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning, but Salem’s recent run of spunky play continued.
The Sox got all four runs back in the bottom of the fourth thanks to a two-run single by Keith Curcio, a wild pitch and a sac fly by Dylan Hardy.
HARDY AGAIN: Trailing 5-4 in the sixth, the Sox equalized again on an RBI double by Hardy. The Sox then loaded the bases with one out but could not push across the go-head run, as Korby Batesole struck out and Jagger Rusconi was retired on a groundout.
EASY COME, EASY GO: In his first start since being named Carolina League Pitcher of the Week, Sox starter Enmnauel De Jesus got knocked out before recording an out in the fourth inning.
Down East touched up the southpaw for four runs on nine hits, with the big blow coming on Julio Pablo Martinez’s two-run homer in the second inning.
LEATHER GOODS: Down East could have gotten much more in the second inning if not for terrific back-to-back defensive plays by the Sox.
With runners on second and third and one out, Tyler Depreta-Johnson flared a ball the opposite way that looked like it was sure to drop in. Batesole sprinted out from his second base position and made a sliding, over-the-shoulder catch, then got the ball back in quickly to prevent a sac fly.
Franklin Rollin followed with a sharp ground ball that third baseman Michael Osinski snagged with an alert dive. Osinski’s throw across was in the dirt, but first baseman Pedro Castellanos scooped it to end the threat.
FLYING SOLO: Home plate umpire Raul Moreno left the game at the end of the fourth inning shortly after being hit on the mask with a foul ball.
Moreno was checked by the training staff during the frame and stayed in for the final out, but he did not come out for the fifth. After a 17-minute delay, base umpire Steven Hodgins moved behind the plate and called the rest of the game by himself.
ALUMNI UPDATE: Boston’s Xander Bogaerts was named to his second AL All-Star squad Wednesday as the replacement for the Rangers’ Hunter Pence, who is battling a groin injury.
Bogaerts, who played for Salem in 2012, entered Thursday hitting .297 with a league-high 28 doubles.
LOOSE ENDS: The start of the game was delayed 56 minutes by rain…Sox catcher Nick Sciortino threw out both Down East runners who tried to steal against him…Martinez, whose home run was his eighth of the year, is rated as the No. 2 prospect in the Texas Rangers system by MLB.com…Wilson went 1 for 3 with a walk a day after being named the Carolina League Player of the Month for June.
ON DECK: The Sox and Wood Ducks play the second game of their three-game series at 3:05 p.m. Friday, with Salem RHP Daniel Gonzalez (2-6, 4.26) slated to face Down East RHP Reid Anderson (3-4, 3.78).