RE-COYLE: Sean Coyle emerged as Salem’s hero for the second straight night.
After hitting a game-winning homer on Friday, Coyle won Saturday’s contest with patience, drawing a bases-load walk in the bottom of the 11th inning to give the Red Sox a 6-5 victory over Wilmington.
BREAKING THROUGH: Both teams had multiple opportunities to take the lead earlier in the game but couldn’t do it. One of those situations occurred in the bottom of the ninth, when Coyle struck out looking with runners on second and third and two outs.
“I was definitely ready for another shot,” Coyle said. “First time around, the guy made a few good pitches. You kind of got to tip your cap to him there. The second time came around and I was able to stay under control and not come out of my approach.”
Coyle worked a 3-1 count, then took a fastball over the outer half for a strike.
“The 3-1 pitch was definitely a pitch I could have handled,” he said. “I probably would have wanted to see it in a little different location to swing there, especially after he’d just walked [Xander] Bogaerts. He was probably feeling the heat a little bit, so I had no problem taking that count to 3-2.”
Good call. The next pitch was above the letters – never close.
ON FIRE: Bogaerts’ walk in the 11th was the sixth time he’d reached base Saturday in a 4-for-4 performance that included two doubles. He’s now reached in 10 of his past 11 plate appearances.
“I don’t know what’s happening, man, to be honest,” the 19-year-old Aruban said. “I changed my approach a little bit, let the ball get into my hands. The hitting coach always tells me that I have good hands, quick hands, so I’ve just been trying to let the ball travel a little more and be more patient.”
LOOSE ENDS: Heiker Meneses finished 3 for 6 and started the winning rally with a one-out triple…Sox RHP Matt Barnes was sharp early but got knocked out in the fifth inning…Wilmington manager Vance Wilson was ejected in the ninth.
ON DECK: The series concludes at 4:05 p.m. today with Sox RHP Keith Couch (8-8, 3.68) facing RHP Andy Ferguson (1-2, 4.68). – Aaron McFarling