Andry Lara dug the FredNats a 5-0 hole but the offense rallied for crooked numbers in the 2nd, 4th, and the 7th to walk off the Red Sox, 7-6.
Lara just never looked comfortable, walking the leadoff batter on five pitches and giving up a single to put runners on the corners with nobody out. While he got the third batter to roll into a double play, which plated the first Salem run.
Back-to-back walks followed by a single extended the Red Sox lead to 2-0 before a three-run HR ended Lara’s night after just 29 pitches, with only 13 thrown for strikes. Orlando Ribalta came on and got the next seven outs, giving up two hits and a walk while striking out two.
Fredericksburg got back into the game with Sammy Infante’s team-leading 10th HR – an Earl Weaver special that cashed in singles by Leandro Emiliani and Steven Williams. A walk to Andry Arias and a plunked Allan Berríos brought the tying run up but Salem’s starter struck out the next three batters to end the threat.
The Red Sox greeted Marlon Perez, the second FredNats reliever, with a run in the 4th to extend the lead to 6-3 in the 4th.
Fredericksburg answered with a pair of two-out runs, courtesy of a two-run double by Jeremy De La Rosa to reduce the lead to one. De La Rosa would play a key role in the 7th as he drew a leadoff walk, stole second, took third on a wild pitch, and scored the equalizing run on an Emiliani Leandro double.
With first base open, Salem put on Steven Williams with an intentional walk. The strategy appeared to pay off when Infante struck out for the second straight AB but Arias lofted a flyball over the head of the Red Sox CF for the game-winning hit.
The win went to Jack Sinclair, who blanked Salem in the 6th and 7th with one hit allowed, no walks, and no K’s.
In the nightcap, Fredericksburg was unable to match its heroics of the first game and fell, 3-1 to split the doubleheader with Salem.
Jackson Rutledge fared far better than Lara, as he walked two, hit two, and gave up three runs on six hits over four and a 1/3rd innings. And yet it’s hard not to be simultaneously disappointed and bewildered – even if that qualified as his best outing of the season thus far.
Meanwhile, the Fredericksburg offense started out strong with Jacob Young singled and stole a base, which enable him to come around to score on a wild pitch.
Salem would issue six walks and none of them would come around to score, as the FredNats went just 1-for-9 (Young’s second single) with RISP and left on nine baserunners, including three in the 5th and two in the 6th.
Manager Jake Lowery would get tossed in the 7th for arguing over the umpires’ inconsistent calls and application of the pitch clock and the benches would clear after Jacob Young was tagged out hard on a dropped third strike. No punches were thrown nor were there any further ejection, but it seemed like the umpires had lost control of the game.
Viandel Peña drew a one-out walk to bring the tying run to the plate in the person of Jeremy De La Rosa, but the Nats’ best hitter was struck out on three pitches while Branden Bosserie grounded out to end it.
This afternoon, Stephen Strasburg makes his second rehab outing as the FredNats seek to split the series. He’ll be opposed by Gabriel Jackson (2-4, 4.94) for Salem.