Winston-Salem 9, Salem 5
W: Ricardo Pinto (1-0)
L: Tanner Houck (0-2)
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (April 19, 2018) – Behind a career-high four RBIs from Blake Rutherford, the Dash cruised to a series-opening, 9-5 win over the Salem Red Sox on Thursday night at BB&T Ballpark.
Winston-Salem (9-6) jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning. With a runner on third and two outs, Micker Adolfo crushed a 428-foot homer to right-center field—a two-run shot and his third long ball of the season. Adolfo’s two RBIs gives him 14 on the season, good for second in the Carolina League.
The Dash broke the ballgame open in the second. Winston-Salem brought four runs across in the frame on two errors, four walks and just one hit. Red Sox starter Tanner Houck (0-2) walked three straight batters in the inning, helping load the bases for Rutherford. The former first-round pick promptly cleared the bases by slashing a single to left that was bobbled by Ryan Scott, allowing Luis Basabe to score from first after Ti’Quan Forbes and Mitch Roman had already crossed the plate.
Houck and reliever Jared Oliver combined to walk nine Dash hitters across 3.1 innings pitched. Winston-Salem finished the night with a season-high 10 walks.
That would be more than enough cushion for Dash starter Ricardo Pinto (1-0). The right-hander tossed five innings of one-run ball, striking out four and walking three to earn his first win of the season.
Salem (8-7) got its first run in the fourth. Bobby Dalbec led off the frame, hitting a high pop-up to shallow right-center that Roman could not track, resulting in a double. Dalbec eventually scored on a fielder’s choice.
Winston-Salem struck right back in the bottom half of the frame. Rutherford came through with the lone hit, bouncing a single into right-center field to bring home Alex Call from second base. Rutherford tied his career-high with four hits in Thursday’s game, and he also extended his hitting streak to six games.
The Red Sox tacked on two runs in the sixth when Jhon Nunez scored on Ryan Scott’s RBI triple. Later in the inning, Scott crossed the plate on a wild pitch from Luis Martinez.
Once again, the Dash responded in the ensuing half-inning. After Rutherford stroked his third hit of the night and stole second base, Gavin Sheets grounded an RBI single to left to widen Winston-Salem’s lead back to five. In the seventh, Rutherford collected his fourth single of the evening, driving in Roman to make it a 9-3 game.
The Red Sox added a pair of runs in the eighth without the aid of a hit. Martinez walked four in the frame and errors from Yeyson Yrizarri and Yermin Mercedes helped Salem cut the deficit to four.
Matt Foster worked a scoreless ninth for the Dash, striking out two to complete the ballgame and give Winston-Salem a second straight victory.
Winston-Salem’s series with Salem continues Friday night at BB&T Ballpark. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. Right-hander Jimmy Lambert (1-1, 2.61 ERA) squares off with Red Sox right-hander Bryan Mata (1-1, 2.00 ERA). Pregame coverage begins at 6:45 p.m., and fans can catch all of the action on wsdash.com/broadcast, MiLB.tv and the TuneIn Radio App.
Friday’s contest will feature a postgame fireworks show, presented by Mast General Store. Also, kids can run the bases after the game, presented by New Balance Winston-Salem. For tickets and more information, call the Dash at (336) 714-2287 or visit wsdash.com.