SUCCESS, TIMES TWO: The Salem Red Sox swept a doubleheader from the Wilmington Blue Rocks on Monday, completing Sunday’s suspended game with a 9-7 victory in the opener before winning the second game 3-0 in front of an announced crowd of 1,164 at Haley Toyota Field.
The Sox (38-48, 13-6 second half) remain in first place in the Carolina League’s Northern Division — a position they’ve held since June 25.
FIRST THINGS FIRST: Sunday’s game was suspended in the seventh inning, with the teams tied 7-7.
Salem quickly untied it.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Nick Sciortino drew a two-out walk before Tanner Nishioka drove a 1-2 pitch deep over the wall in left center for a two-run homer, giving Salem a 9-7 lead.
It was just the 10th home run the Sox had hit at home this season (although they would get No. 11 in the second game).
Andrew Schwaab (2-0) retired all five batters he faced to earn the victory, lowering his ERA to 2.11.
TIDY WORK: Pitching took care of the Blue Rocks in the second game, as Thad Ward, Andrew Politi and Rio Gomez combined on a five-hit shutout.
Ward (1-0) logged the first five frames, striking out six and walking none while allowing just four hits. The quick-working right-hander, who joined the rotation from Single-A Greenville on June 20, now owns a 1.27 ERA through four Carolina League starts.
THE INSTIGATOR: Right fielder Edgar Corcino contributed to all three runs for Salem in the second game.
His RBI double in the second inning brought home Keith Curcio to make it 1-0. Corcino then crossed the plate on Sciortino’s single to press the advantage to 2-0.
In the sixth, Corcino jumped on the first pitch he saw from Wilmington reliever Robert Garcia and crushed a solo home run to dead center field.
BRIGHT FUTURE: Outfielder Jarren Duran, who torched Carolina League pitching at a .387 clip in 50 games for Salem this season before being promoted to Double-A on June 3, represented Boston in Sunday’s SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game in Cleveland.
Duran grounded out in his first at-bat before rapping an opposite-field single in the seventh.
The showcase pitting top American League against their National League counterparts ended in a 2-2 tie, with Carolina Leaguer Sam Huff (Down East) taking MVP honors.
LOOSE ENDS: Curcio went a combined 4 for 6 with a walk and an RBI in the two games. … Sox first baseman Pedro Castellanos collected three hits in the twinbill. … Gomez earned his first Carolina League save. … Wilmington starter Daniel Tillo walked four batters in the first game, throwing just 37 of his 68 pitches for strikes.
ON DECK: The Sox embark on a seven-game road trip beginning with four at Wilmington. Enmanuel De Jesus (5-6, 4.12) is slated to start the series opener for Salem at 7 p.m. Wednesday.