FUN WHILE IT LASTED: The Salem Red Sox saw their seven-game home winning streak snapped with a 5-2 loss to Potomac on Thursday in front of 2,551 at Salem Memorial Ballpark.
KEYES’ ROLE: The Nationals (13-17) took the lead for good in the second inning on a three-run homer by Kevin Keyes, who added an RBI double in the fifth. The Sox (17-14) outhit Potomac 8-6 but left nine runners on base.
ON THE RISE: Sox left fielder Brandon Jacobs went 2-for-3 with an RBI single, a walk and his seventh steal of the year. He has five multi-hit efforts in his past nine games and has raised his average to .291 after an uneven start.
“I caught myself early in the year trying to do too much,” said Jacobs, rated the No. 6 prospect in the Boston system by Baseball America. “I’ve kind of just settled down at the plate and stayed calm and thought middle-of-the-field, other-way approach.”
NO WORRIES: Jacobs hit 17 homers in 115 games at Low-A Greenville last year but has just one so far this season. Not that this has surprised him.
“To be honest, I’ve never been a power hitter,” said Jacobs, 21. “I had seven home runs my senior year of high school; I’ve never hit for power. Last year, the 17, I wouldn’t say it was a shocker, but it’s something that’s not going to come too often.”
WALL BALL: Sox centerfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. went 1-for-5 with two strikeouts – a very rough offensive night by his standards – but provided one of the top Salem highlights in the eighth inning.
Bradley got turned around on Randolph Odulber’s deep drive, but he recovered to make a leaping, fully extended catch before crashing into the wall.
“We’ve got to work on going back on some balls,” manager Billy McMillon said with a smile. “No, in all seriousness, he’s very advanced defensively. He saves us a ton of base hits and keeps runners from advancing with his strong arm.”
The crowd gave Bradley a nice ovation. But, as Jacobs put it: “That’s Jackie Bradley. That’s routine.”
ON DECK: The Sox embark on a seven-game road trip beginning with today’s 7:05 p.m. game at Myrtle Beach. Salem’s RHP Matt Barnes (1-0, 1.50) is scheduled to oppose Pelicans RHP Nicholas Tepesch (1-2, 3.62)