FROM DONE TO DANCING: Down to their last out in the bottom of the ninth inning, the Red Sox rallied for three runs to record one of their most satisfying wins of the year, stunning Carolina 7-6 on Wednesday night in front of 2,895 at Salem Memorial Ballpark.
COMEBACK STARTS TO SIMMER: The Sox entered the ninth trailing 6-4 before Michael Almanzar smacked a one-out double to provide hope. After a strikeout, Xander Bogaerts lofted a triple off the wall in right to cut the deficit to one.
The players on the top step of the dugout approved.
“You can just feel it,” Sox right fielder Lucas LeBlanc said. “You can feel it in the dugout. Everybody’s getting pumped up, and you can feel a win coming.”
DRAWING EVEN: Up stepped Sean Coyle, who lined a clean single into right field to score Bogaerts and tie the game.
Drew Hedman followed with a walk before LeBlanc hit a slow tapper in front of the plate.
LeBlanc narrowly beat the throw to first and pumped his fist when he saw the safe call, which loaded the bases.
“I knew it was a clutch at-bat,” said LeBlanc, who finished 3 for 5 and made a spectacular diving catch in right. “I didn’t get a good piece of it, but I just busted down the line and gave the next guy a chance to hit. It worked out for us.”
GIMME A ‘W’: With Carson Blair at the plate, Mutcats reliever Grant Sides uncorked a wild pitch to the backstop. Coyle raced home, and the celebration was on.
“It felt good for the whole team,” LeBlanc said. “Good, scrappy win for us.”
RUNNING WILD: Carolina catcher Alex Monsalve had a night forget, as the Sox swiped a whopping eight bases in 10 attempts. He did, though, nail Blair at second in the eighth in what would have been one of the key plays of the game if not for Salem’s rally.
ON DECK: Sox RHP Yeiper Castillo (2-1, 2.50) starts the series finale against Carolina RHP Will Roberts (4-7, 5.99) at 7:05 tonight. The game can be heard on AM 610 instead of the usual station, AM 960, which will be broadcasting the Redskins preseason game. – Aaron McFarling