The Salem Red Sox are on a roll as they return home for a two-week homestand of a dozen games. Salem opened a six game series against the Fayetteville Woodpeckers on Tuesday.
The Sox completed a 12 game road trip on Sunday that saw them go 8-4 against Fredricksburg and Delmarva. The Sox took four of six from Delmarva in Salisbury, MD to cut two games off the Shorebirds’ lead in the Northern Division of the Low-A East League. Salem came into the week just four games behind Delmarva in the North.
Salem split the first two games of last week’s series, winning 4-2 and losing 7-1. Thursday’s game was rained out and made up Friday in a doubleheader, which Salem swept 9-3 and 11-2. The Shorebirds won 7-2 on Saturday but Salem smoked Delmarva in Sunday’s get-away game, 10-0, to win the series.
Jeremy Wu-Yelland started Sunday’s shutout win and pitched four no-hit inning before Ryan Fernandez pitched the next three. Fernandez gave up the only Delmarva hit of the game but struck out five and walked none. Casey Cobb and Jacinton Arredonda each pitched a scoreless inning to complete the one-hit shutout.
Offensively, Alex Erro was four-for-five Sunday and scored three runs. The top of the order set the table as leadoff hitter Gilberto Jimenez and number two hitter Matthew Lugo had three hits each. Nicholas Northcut also had three hits and Luke Bandy, a recent addition to the team, hit his first home run. Salem outhit the Shorebirds 18-1 in the game.
The Sox have made several transactions since the last homestand. Heading to High A Greenville are catcher Jaxx Groshans and pitchers Brandon Waters and Cody Scroggins. Yasel Santana comes to Salem from Greenville and the Sox also added pitchers Nate Tellier and Chih-Jung Liu from the lower FCL Sox.
This week the Sox are hoping to make up some more ground as they host Fayetteville, who comes to town with a 26-33 record. The Woodpeckers are an Astros farm team. Delmarva is playing six games on the road this week against 32-27 Down East, a Rangers team. Next week Salem will host Fredricksburg for six, and the Nationals have the worst record among the 12 league teams.
In the new Minor League Baseball format there is no split season, as has been the case in past years with the Carolina League. The top two teams among the 12 Low-A East teams will play for the league championship in September, and the current leaders are Charleston at 40-18 and Delmarva at 37-21. Carolina is next at 34-25 and Salem is close behind, in fourth place overall, at 34-26.
This week’s promotions include a “Wizard Night,” with the first 1,000 fans receiving a free Red Sox “Wizard” t-shirt, on Friday night. Weekday games start at 7:05 pm with a 6:05 pm start Saturday and a 4:05 pm game Sunday.