By Brian Hoffman
The Salem Red Sox had a chance to pick up some ground on division leading Fredericksburg last week but instead they fell a game farther behind, winning just two of five games in Fredericksburg. The Sox come into this week’s homestand seven games behind the Nationals in the second half standings of the Carolina League’s North Division.
Things started off great last week. After getting rained out of the series opener the Sox swept a doubleheader on Wednesday, 9-3 and 6-2, to pull to within four games of the leader. However, the Nats rallied to win the next three games by scores of 8-3, 9-6 and 6-1 to increase their lead over Salem to seven games. Sunday’s game was rained out and will be made up as part of doubleheader in Salem on September 7th when the Sox host the Nationals for the final series of the season. They’ll have to make up some ground in the meantime to make that series relevant.
The Sox are back home this week to take on the Fayetteville Woodpeckers, a farm team of the Houston Astros. Games are scheduled for 7:05 pm Tuesday through Friday with a 6:05 pm start on Saturday and a 5:05 pm first pitch Sunday. Fayetteville comes into the series with a second half record of just 10-19 while Salem is 14-15.
Fredericksburg is at Down East this week, and the Wood Ducks come into that series with the same 14-15 record as Salem. Carolina is just a half game behind Salem and Down East in the North at 14-16 and Delmarva is 13-17, all needing to have a big August for a chance to catch the Nationals in the second half.
Salem has some exciting promotions this week. Tonight, Thursday, is “Area 51 Night” sponsored by Olde Salem Brewing Company and it’s a t-shirt giveaway. Friday is “Tyler’s Amazing Balancing Act Night” and it’s also Mugsy’s birthday, and Saturday is “Star Wars Night.”
The Red Sox are hoping the force is with them as they attempt to close the gap between themselves and Fredericksburg before the now eight-game series with the Nats beginning September 6.