Keys Slugger Hits League-Leading 21st and 22nd Home Run in Loss
FREDERICK, MD – Despite two home runs from Aaron Baker, the Keys fell 6-4 to the Salem Red Sox after losing a one-run lead in the eighth inning.
Up 4-3 entering the top of the eighth inning, relief pitcher David Walters, who earned the save the night before, allowed a solo home run to Christian Vazquez to the tie score at four and then walked in a run with the bases loaded to give Salem the lead.
The Keys did not come back from there as Salem tacked on an extra run in the top of the ninth for good measure to go up 6-4.
Baker hit his league-leading 21st and 22nd home runs on the night as he drove in three of the Keys four runs. After hitting a two-run shot in the first to help put the Keys up 3-0 and then with the score tied at three, Baker hit his 22nd home run to put the Keys back up 4-3.
Yet unfortunately it would not be enough as Salem’s three runs in the final two innings toppled the Keys to drop them to 12-13 in the second half and 39-56 overall.
The Keys raced out to an early 3-0 lead in the first inning on starter Miguel Celestino after Johnny Ruettiger first scored on wild pitch to give the Keys a 1-0 lead. One batter later, Aaron Baker hit his league-leading 21st home run of the year with a runner on first to give the Keys an three-run advantage.
Salem would finally get through against Keys starter Tyler Wilson in the fifth inning when Travis Shaw hit a three-run home run to suddenly tie the game at three. It was his 14th home run of the year and it came with two outs in the inning after Wilson had only given up three hits until that point.
One inning later, however, Baker would put the Keys back on top with his second home run of the night, a solo shot that towered over all three tiers of signs at Harry Grove Stadium as the Keys led 4-3.
Yet in the eighth, Salem would take their first lead of the game. Following Vazquez’s tying home run, Salem would the load the bases on two hits and an intentional walk for slugger Travis Shaw. Shaw drew a walk – his fourth of the night and sixth of the series – to push Salem ahead 5-4.
The Keys will look to regroup tomorrow night on Greek Heritage and Olympic Night as RHP Scott Copeland (3-7, 6.42 ERA) takes the mound against Salem’s Keith Couch (6-7, 4.35 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 PM.