Salem Red Sox (copy)

WILMINGTON, Del. — M.J. Melendez’s two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning gave the Wilmington Blue Rocks a 2-1 walk-off win in the opener of a doubleheader with the Salem Red Sox at Frawley Stadium on Friday evening.

Marcus Wilson’s RBI single in the fourth inning of the nightcap was the only run needed in the Sox’s 1-0 win.

The opener featured sterling pitching performances from Salem’s Jhonathan Diaz and Wilmington’s Kris Bubic. Diaz allowed only one hit and two walks and struck out nine in six innings for the Sox, while Bubic allowed only two hits and one walk with 10 strikeouts in seven innings for the Blue Rocks.

With the game scoreless after seven innings, Salem took a 1-0 lead when Edgar Corcino drove in Wilson, who was placed at second to start the inning, with an RBI single off Blue Rock reliever Josh Dye. Melendez, however, ended the game in short order in the bottom of the frame, launching an 0-2 pitch from Sox reliever Joan Martinez over the right field wall to end the game.

Andrew Politi gave Salem its second straight solid pitching performance in the nightcap, tossing four shutout frames and allowing only two hits with six strikeouts. Austin Cox, who allowed only one run on four hits and two walks with seven strikeouts, took the hard-luck loss for the Blue Rocks, as he allowed Wilson’s RBI single, which turned out to be the game-winning run.

Hunter Smith closed the final three innings for Salem without allowing a hit to earn the win.

ON DECK: Salem finishes its six-game road trip with a three-game weekend set in Frederick against the Keys. Saturday’s opening game of the series has a scheduled first pitch at 6 p.m. Either Dylan Thompson (2-6, 5.90) or Thad Ward (1-0, 1.27) will get the start for Salem.

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