Hillcats’ pitchers survive rocky outing against Red Sox

By Staff

The Hillcats rallied from an early three-run deficit and outslugged Salem 11-9 on Wednesday night at Lewis-Gale Field to salvage the final game of three-game set with the Red Sox.

Behind the strong start of Rich Hill, in Salem on a major-league rehab assignment, the Red Sox took an early lead. Hill pitched a perfect first inning, striking out the side, before giving way to piggyback starter Drake Britton, who was one of the Boston organization’s top prospects before struggling through a tough 2011 season.

This season hasn’t been any better for Britton. The Hillcats trailed 3-0 and 7-4 but hammered Britton for seven earned runs in four inning to tie game at 7 in the top of the fifth inning. The hitting display was needed on a night where Hillcats starter Ronan Pacheco was erratic himself. In 3 2/3 innings, Pacheco allowed six hits, seven runs (three earned), walked four, struck out five and threw three wild pitches.

The Hillcats scored four times in the seventh to take the lead for good. Trailing 9-7, Matt Weaver — who was called up from Low-A Rome earlier in the day — doubled to lead off the frame. Weaver earlier hit a solo home run. Nick Ahmed hit an RBI single to score Weaver, and Kyle Rose doubled to bring home Ahmed and tie the game. Edward Salcedo gave the Hillcats the lead with an RBI double and Chris Garcia closed the run with an RBI single to give Lynchburg an 11-9 edge.

Juan Jaime walked two and struck out two in the bottom of the ninth but held Salem in check to earn his second save.

The Hillcats return home today to start a four-game series with the Frederick Keys. First pitch at City Stadium is scheduled for 6:05 p.m.

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