SALEM, VA (WOOD DUCKS MEDIA RELATIONS) — In a twist of karma, or just the way baseball goes, the Wood Ducks were the victims of a six-run, ninth inning comeback Friday night in Salem after the Red Sox walked-off on a Austin Rei bloop single to right field to win 11-10.
Tonight’s contest started in a much faster pace for the Woodies, scoring four in the top of the first inning and Jairo Beras was at the center of it all. Beras ripped a three-run double to left-center field to open the scoring, then he would cross home two batters later on a Josh Morgan ground ball.
Wood Ducks starter Pedro Payano got off to a slow start – walking three of the first four batters of the game. All three of the walks would score on two broken bat bloop singles to the outfield – a precursor to how the game would finish.
However the Woodies responded in a big way in the second with Beras again. He ripped his second homer in his last three at-bats, a three-run blast to left-center to set the score at 7-3 DEWD ahead. It capped a stretch of three consecutive run-scoring hits for Beras going to Thursday night’s go-ahead two-run homer. He had eight runs batted in during the three ABs.
Payano would settle down by not allowing another run during his last three innings of work and would exit after four. The Wood Ducks would get back on the board in the sixth when Luis La O reached on an error and eventually scored when Luis Mendez beat out a double play ball. The score was 8-3 Woodies heading to the seventh.
That’s when the comeback began for the Red Sox with an unearned run off Jason Richman – who was solid in his Woodies debut over three innings with three strikeouts. With Adam Choplick pitching, Salem added another in the eighth inning on a Mike Meyers sac fly to center, but the Woodies were still comfortably ahead 9-5.
In the ninth, the Wood Ducks added an insurance run on a Ledarious Clark RBI double – his third double of the game. It was a startling case of dejá vú: a five-run lead heading to the ninth, the first three batters reached for the trailing team in its final at-bats, and a pitching change after four batters.
Choplick was lifted for Austin Pettibone, but all of the momentum was established for the Red Sox. Josh Tobias rocketed a double down the left field line, Denier Lopez walked with the bases loaded to make it a one-run game, a run-scoring wild pitch tied it, then Rei looped one to shallow right field with the infield in to win it for the Red Sox.
Game three of the series starts at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday night in Salem. The Wood Ducks (1-1) will throw lefty Jeffrey Springs while the Red Sox (1-1) counter with righty Daniel McGrath. You can listen to every pitch of the 2017 season on Sports/Talk 960 The Bull AM.