ANOTHER ROUGH NIGHT: Ricky Aracena hit an RBI single in the top of the 10th inning, leading Wilmington to a 2-1 victory over Salem on Tuesday in front of an announced crowd of 1,388 at Haley Toyota Field.
The Red Sox (16-27) have dropped seven of eight. They’ve scored just one run in the first two games of this series with the Blue Rocks (28-17), who got seven shutout innings from Brady Singer on Tuesday.
FRUSTRATIONS MOUNTING: The Sox had the potential tying run thrown out at the plate in the bottom of the 10th, as catcher MJ Melendez made a fine scoop of a low throw by shortstop Cristian Perez.
Salem still put runners on the corners with two outs, but Nick Sciortino lined out to second base to end it.
JUST ENOUGH MUSCLE: The Sox were down to their last out in the bottom of the ninth when a bizarre play got them even.
With two down and Deiner Lopez on second base, Pedro Castellanos hit a weak ground ball to the right of the mound. Pitcher Tad Ratliff stumbled during his follow-through – and would ultimately leave the game to injury – which allowed the ball to squirt toward second base.
Aracena couldn’t field it cleanly, and Lopez sped around third to tie it, 1-1.
OFF THE HOOK: Salem’s late rally was a blessing for Sox starter Daniel Gonzalez, who did not deserve to lose. The right-hander worked eight stellar innings, surrendering just one run on five hits while striking out nine and walking none.
His only hiccup came in the fourth, when he gave up back-to-back singles before allowing an RBI groundout to Melendez that gave Wilmington a 1-0 lead.
ON DECK: The Sox and Blue Rocks play the third game of their four-game series at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday, with Salem RHP Emmanuel De Jesus slated to face Wilmington RHP Jackson Kowar.