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April 25, 2010 at 5:00 AM

Salem offense hits double-digits in win

The Salem offense exploded for 10 runs and the Sea Dogs got a great pitching effort, while the PawSox fell victim to the knuckleball and Greenville was rained out in Sox-affiliate action (or non-action) last night.

Buffalo (NYM) knuckleballer R.A. Dickey shut Red Sox bats down for the second time in ten days, as the Pawtucket fell to the Bisons, 4-2. After allowing two runs in his complete game victory back on April 14, Dickey gave up only a pair of runs over 8.0 innings on six hits and no walks, striking out five. The PawSox actually jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second, as Aaron Bates doubled with one out, then scored two batters later on Daniel Nava’s single to left. The Bisons tied the score in the top of the third off starter Randor Bierd, but Nava helped get the lead back in the bottom of the fifth, doubling to lead off the frame and scoring on Bubba Bell’s single. Again, Buffalo answered right back in the next inning, taking the lead for good on a two-run homer in the sixth, and added an insurance run in the ninth. Bierd went 6.0 innings, giving up 3 runs on 7 hits and 3 walks, striking out 5. Alan Embree made his seventh scoreless, 1.0-inning appearance of the year, reportedly hitting 94 mph twice in his 1-2-3 frame, then turned it over to Dustin Richardson, who allowed a run on 2 hits and a walk in his 2.0 innings, striking out 4. Nava and Bell paced the offense, each going 2 for 3.

Stephen Fife turned in 5.1 strong innings of work as Portland toppled Trenton (NYY), 5-2. The right-hander allowed just 1 unearned run on 5 hits and an uncharacteristically high 3 walks, striking out 5 to earn his first win of 2010. He was followed by T.J. Large, who made his season debut with 2.1 innings of scoreless, hitless relief, and Bryce Cox, who allowed a run on 4 hits in his 1.1 innings. The red-hot Lars Anderson got the scoring started in the second, leading off the inning with a single, moving to third on Ray Chang’s double, and scoring on a groundout to second by Chih-Hsien Chiang. Anderson then started the sixth-inning rally that broke the game open for the Sea Dogs, leading off with a double. Singles by Chang and Jose Iglesias loaded the bases with none out, allowing Chiang to drive in Anderson once again with a sacrifice fly to right. Following a Jason Place walk to re-load the bases, Chang scored on a wild pitch and Ryan Kalish brought in Iglesias with another sac fly. The Thunder got a run back in the bottom of the sixth on an Iglesias error, but Nate Spears’ solo home run in the top of the seventh extended the lead back to three. Trenton rallied for a run off Cox in the ninth, but Cox induced a double play to end the game with the winning run at the plate. Anderson and Chang each had a pair of hits in 3 at-bats to pace the Sea Dogs, while Kalish went 1 for 2 with 2 walks.

Salem ran up double-digits behind a stunning power display from second baseman Oscar Tejeda, taking a 10-3 decision from Frederick (BAL). Down 3-1 entering the sixth, their lone run coming on Tejeda's first dinger in the fourth, the Red Sox offense scored 8 runs in the next two frames to take control of the contest. Anthony Rizzo started things with one out in the sixth, doubling, stealing third, and scoring on a groundout by Ryan Lavarnway. Will Middlebrooks then doubled, scoring thanks to a throwing error one batter later that allowed Tejeda to reach and advance to second. Alex Hassan singled to right next to bring Tejeda in. After a 1-2-3 inning from reliever Mitch Herold, three Salem walks loaded the bases for Lavarnway, who drove in another run on a fielder’s choice. Middlebrooks then plated a run with a single to right, and Tejeda followed with his second homer of the night, a three-run round-tripper to left. Salem capped the scoring in the ninth when Rizzo doubled and scored on Middlebrooks’ single, but the insurance run was not needed, as Kyle Fernandes shut the door. Tejeda was the offensive star, going 2 for 5 with 2 home runs, driving in 4 runs and scoring 3 himself. Middlebrooks was 3 for 5 with a double, scoring twice and driving in a pair, while Rizzo was 2 for 4 with 2 doubles and a walk, scoring 2 runs. Stolmy Pimentel gave up 8 hits in his 4.2 innings, allowing 3 runs, 2 earned, striking out 3 and walking 2. Herold and Fernandes continued their great relief work this year, the former allowing just 2 hits in 2.1 innings to get the win, and the latter giving up a hit and a walk in 2.0 innings, fanning 2. The pair dropped their respective ERAs to 0.87 and 1.74 on the season, respectively.

Player of the Night: Oscar Tejeda, who hit a pair of home runs to pace the Salem offensive onslaught. With four homers already, Tejeda has matched his career high for home runs in a season just 57 at-bats into the year.