Winston-Salem pulled away from the Wilmington Blue Rocks with five runs in the fifth inning, cruising to a 7-1 win on Sunday at BB&T Ballpark.
With Winston-Salem (9-9, 39-48) leading 2-1 in the fifth, Jacob May started the rally with a one-out double to the right-center field gap against Wilmington starter Miguel Almonte (5-4). Keenyn Walker drew a base on balls to place runners at first and second. Joey DeMichele thumped a double off the left field fence, scoring May for a 3-1 lead. Jason Coats rolled a single through the hole between third and short to plate Walker.
With runners at the corners, Keon Barnum cleared the bases with a three-run homer to left. Barnums seventh round-tripper of the year completed the five-run frame, giving the Dash a 7-1 cushion.
Wilmington (8-9, 41-44) struggled to generate offense against Angel Sanchez (1-0) in his Winston-Salem debut. The right-hander tossed seven strong innings, allowing one run and four hits while striking out six. Sanchez, who was designated for assignment by the Marlins and Rays organizations before the White Sox claimed him off waivers on Wednesday, snapped a nine-game personal losing streak.
Kyle Hansen and Jefferson Olacio each pitched a perfect inning in relief for the Dash to avoid the home sweep at the hands of the Blue Rocks. Since BB&T Ballpark opened in 2010, opponents have only swept Winston-Salem twice. Salem achieved the feat in August 2013, while Frederick took all three games from the Dash in mid-April. This was the 97th all-time series at the downtown facility.
The Dash jumped on top in the bottom of the first. May led off the inning with a triple to center field, just barely avoiding the diving catch attempt by Bubba Starling. DeMicheles single to left field chased May home, giving Winston-Salem a 1-0 lead.
The home team added to its advantage in the bottom of the fourth. Barnum hit a ground ball down the first-base line for a one-out double. Nick Bastos chopper to short was thrown into the stands by Jack Lopez, allowing Barnum to score and provide the Dash with a 2-0 cushion.
Wilmington plated its only run against Sanchez in the top of the fifth. Jared Schlehuber doubled to left field and advanced to third on Cody Stubbs single. With one out and runners at the corners, Terrance Gores fielders choice groundout allowed Schlehuber to score, cutting the Blue Rocks deficit to 2-1.
Winston-Salem continues the homestand with a four-game series against Myrtle Beach beginning Monday night. Right-hander Tyler Danish (1-1, 5.16 ERA) will toe the rubber for the Dash, while the Pelicans counter with lefty Victor Payano (3-5, 4.84 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. For tickets, visit HERE or call 336/714-2287.