Salem Red Sox (copy)

80’s NIGHT: The Salem Red Sox struggles are reaching historic levels.

The Potomac Nationals put heavy traffic on the bases all evening and handed the Sox their ninth straight loss Monday, a 6-1 setback in front of an announced crowd of 1,534 at Haley Toyota Field.

It’s the longest losing streak for a Salem team since 1998. At 18-37, the Sox have matched the franchise’s worst 55-game start since the 1983 Redbirds.

A LOT OF BASE RUNNERS: Through his first eight starts this season, Salem right-hander Kutter Crawford carried a 2.48 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP. He’s lost four straight starts since then, including a laborious outing Monday night.

Crawford, the top pitching prospect on the active Salem roster, allowed three runs (two earned) on nine hits and four walks. He departed with the Sox trailing 3-1.

SHORT NIGHT: Outfielder Marcus Wilson got Salem’s first hit of the game — a ringing double to center field — but his tour around the bases did not end well.

Wilson tried to score when third baseman Omar Meregildo committed a throwing error on Victor Acosta’s ground ball. First baseman Aldrem Corredor threw home and Wilson was called out on a bang-bang tag.

Wilson sprung to his feet, threw his helmet down and was ejected by home plate umpire Mike Snover.

END OF AN ERA: Center fielder Jarren Duran was promoted to Double-A Portland on Monday, ending one of the more successful 50-game stints in Salem history.

In 199 Carolina League at-bats, Duran laced 77 hits for a .387 average — 34 points higher than any other player in the circuit. He also led the league in on-base percentage (.456) and runs (49) while ranking second in slugging (.543) and stolen bases (18).

A seventh-round pick in last year’s draft out of Long Beach State, Duran has moved up to No. 9 on MLB.com’s list of Boston prospects. He owns a .369 average in two seasons as a pro.

LOOSE ENDS: Nick Banks and Telmito Augustin supplied three hits apiece to pace Potomac’s 13-hit attack…Sox first baseman Pedro Castellanos went 2 for 4 to extend his hitting streak to eight games. He was the lone Salem player with multiple hits…Reliever Zach Schellenger, who joined Salem from Double-A Portland on May 23, tossed a hitless ninth inning with two strikeouts…Shortstop Ryan Fitzgerald moved into the leadoff spot vacated by Duran, going 1 for 5.

ON DECK: The Sox and Nationals conclude their three-game series at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, with Salem LHP Jhonathan Diaz slated to face Potomac RHP Andrew Lee.

Aaron McFarling joined The Roanoke Times in 2000 and has been writing sports columns since 2004.

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