By Brian Hoffman
The Salem Red Sox let a chance to pick up ground in the standings slip away when they dropped four of six games to Fayetteville at Salem Memorial Ballpark last week. The Sox come into the week eight games behind Fredericksburg in the second half of the Carolina League’s North Division standings and time is running out.
The Sox were hoping to have a big week against Fayetteville, the last place team in the South Division, with a six game series at home. They split the first four games with Friday’s game rained out, setting up a Sunday doubleheader. That proved to be a disaster for the Red Sox as the Woodpeckers swept a doubleheader from Salem, winning 6-5 and 3-2. The Sox wasted a chance to gain ground on Fredericksburg as the Nats lost to Down East to split their six game series with the Wood Ducks.
Beginning Tuesday the Red Sox still have 31 games left on the schedule to try and catch the Nationals, including the last seven at home against the North Division leaders. However, in the last couple weeks Carolina and Down East have also passed the Red Sox. As of Tuesday Carolina was six and a half games behind Fredericksburg, Down East was seven back and the Sox are eight back.
This week Salem is at Kannapolis for six games, beginning Tuesday. The Cannon Ballers are a White Sox farm team and these games are also important to them, as the Ballers are in second place in the South Division just two and a half games behind Charleston.
Salem will return home next Tuesday, August 16, to begin a six game series with Delmarva.