BATS COME ALIVE: Five Salem players registered multiple hits as the Sox churned out a dozen overall to defeat the Frederick Keys 8-4 on Thursday in front of an announced crowd of 3,058 at Haley Toyota Field.

The Sox (21-42) won for just the third time in 17 games. The victory ensured they’d be spared the ignominy of matching the franchise’s lowest first-half win total, set in 1983 (20).

MOVING IN FRONT: Trailing 4-3 entering the fourth inning, the Sox took the lead for good with some solid situational hitting.

Tanner Nishioka hit a sacrifice fly with one out to tie the game. Jagger Rusconi then doubled home Garrett Benge to put the Sox ahead.

TACKING ON: The Sox added three insurance runs in the fifth inning with a little help from the Keys defense.

With two on and two out, Benge hit a fly ball that was dropped by center fielder Kirvin Moesquit and ruled an error. Keith Curcio and Edgar Corcino both scored to give Salem a 7-4 edge. Charlie Madden followed with an RBI single to make it 8-4.

PAINFUL PLAY: Sox center fielder Marcus Wilson saved at least one run with a sparkling catch to end the first inning, but it also ended his night.

With runners on first and third, Wilson tracked Jake Ring’s fly ball that was being pushed by the wind toward the left-center gap. He made the running grab on the warning track but collided with the wall.

Wilson favored his right leg as he was helped off the field. He was replaced in the lineup by Curcio in the bottom of the inning.

JUMP ON IT: After being demoted from Double-A Portland on June 3, Curcio struggled in his first eight games with Salem, collecting only two hits in 25 at-bats.

He doubled that total in his first three plate appearances after replacing Wilson on Thursday.

His two-run single in the bottom of the first inning gave Salem a 2-1 lead. In the fifth, he added another single, stole a base and scored a run.

Curcio finished 3 for 4 to raise his average 92 points, to .172.

ALL-STAR ADDITION: As reported earlier this week, Salem’s Jarren Duran, Ryan Fitzgerald, Pedro Castellanos and Kutter Crawford have earned midseason Carolina League All-Star honors.

Reliever Eduard Bazardo also has been added for the showcase, which will be played Tuesday in Frederick. Duran (promotion to Double-A Portland) and Crawford (scheduled to pitch against Frederick on Saturday) will not make the trip.

Bazardo celebrated with four scoreless innings Thursday, lowering his ERA to 1.76.

BACK IN THE WIN COLUMN: Though he was far from dominant, Sox starter Daniel Gonzalez (2-6) battled long and hard enough to earn his first victory since April 20.

Gonzalez toiled through five innings, allowing four runs on 10 hits and three walks while striking out three. He’d dropped four straight decisions since his last win but twice earned no-decisions on nights he pitched extremely well.

On May 10, Gonzalez tossed seven shutout innings against Lynchburg only to see his team lose 1-0. On May 21, Gonzalez fanned a season-high nine Wilmington batters over eight one-run innings but the Sox lost 2-1 in 10.

ON DECK: The Sox and Keys play a doubleheader beginning at 6:05 p.m. Friday, making up a game postponed by weather on April 14. In the opener, Salem RHP Bryan Mata (1-1, 1.83) is slated to face Frederick RHP Brenan Hanifee (4-5, 4.47). RHP Dylan Thompson (0-4, 5.94) is scheduled to pitch the nightcap for Salem against RHP David Lebron (2-0, 2.74).

120100000  4131
30023000X  8121
Gonzalez (2-6, 4.82) ;
Knight (0-3, 4.65) ;
Bazardo (4)
Frederick Keys
Cole BillingsleyRF533100000.336
Willy Yahn2B501000001.298
J.C. EscarraDH402100110.258
Jomar Reyes3B503200201.262
Ryan Ripken1B501100103.241
Yeltsin GudinoSS401000010.257
Jake RingLF400000001.211
Kirvin MoesquitCF311000012.223
Stuart LevyC401000001.155

2B: Reyes 2 (11, Gonzalez, D, Bazardo); Escarra (10, Bazardo); Billingsley (10, Gonzalez, D); Ripken (4, Gonzalez, D).
TB: Billingsley 4; Escarra 3; Gudino; Levy; Moesquit; Reyes 5; Ripken 2; Yahn.
RBI: Escarra (32); Reyes 2 (25); Ripken (11).
2-out RBI: Reyes 2; Ripken.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Gudino 3; Ring 2; Reyes; Ripken 2.
GIDP: Levy.
Team RISP: 3-for-15.
Team LOB: 11.

E: Moesquit (3, fielding).
Outfield assists: Ring (Curcio at home).
DP: 2 (Ring-Levy; Gudino-Yahn-Ripken).

Salem Red Sox
Jagger Rusconi2B512200102.214
Victor AcostaLF412000011.307
Ryan FitzgeraldSS412000110.314
Pedro Castellanos1B500000000.269
Marcus WilsonCF000000000.300
    a- Keith CurcioPH-CF413000000.172
Edgar CorcinoRF222000220.250
Garrett Benge3B320000010.241
Charlie MaddenC301000100.200
Tanner NishiokaDH300000101.211
a-Singled for Wilson in the 1st.

2B: Rusconi 2 (12, Knight, Knight).
TB: Acosta 2; Corcino 2; Curcio 3; Fitzgerald 2; Madden; Rusconi 4.
RBI: Corcino 2 (9); Fitzgerald (40); Madden (8); Nishioka (12); Rusconi (18).
2-out RBI: Rusconi; Madden.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Madden; Acosta; Castellanos.
SAC: Madden.
SF: Nishioka.
GIDP: Castellanos.
Team RISP: 6-for-15.
Team LOB: 8.

SB: Curcio (1, 2nd base off Knight/Levy).

E: Benge (5, fielding).
DP: (Benge-Rusconi-Castellanos).

Frederick Keys
Blaine Knight (L, 0-3)4.29852204.65
Reed Hayes2.13001100.00
Juan Echevarria1.00002100.00
Salem Red Sox
Daniel Gonzalez (W, 2-6)5.010443304.82
Eduard Bazardo (S, 4)4.03000601.76
WP: Hayes.
Pitches-strikes: Knight 91-61; Hayes 29-16; Echevarria 22-10; Gonzalez, D 97-62; Bazardo 52-41.
Groundouts-flyouts: Knight 6-3; Hayes 3-0; Echevarria 1-1; Gonzalez, D 3-4; Bazardo 4-0.
Batters faced: Knight 26; Hayes 9; Echevarria 5; Gonzalez, D 27; Bazardo 15.
Inherited runners-scored: Hayes 1-0.
Umpires: HP: Reed Basner. 1B: John Budka.
Weather: 77 degrees, Partly Cloudy.
Wind: 15 mph, Out To LF.
First pitch: 7:06 PM.
T: 2:58.
Att: 3,058.
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