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Red Sox Minor Lines: Salem loses a heartbreaker

They’ll head to a decisive Game Five on Sunday

Salem L 4-5 (F/10)

Ryan Fitzgerald, SS: 1-4, 1 R, 2 K

Devlin Granberg, LF: 1-5, 2 K

Victor Acosta, CF: 2-4, 2 K

Triston Casas, 1B: 2-5, 1 K

Tyler Esplin, RF: 1-5, 1 2B, 1 R

Tanner Nishioka, DH: 2-5, 1 R, 2 K

Grant Williams, 2B: 3-4, 1 2B, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K

Jhonathan Diaz: 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 8 K (96 pitches)

Joan Martinez: 1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 0 K (24 pitches)

Yoan Aybar: 2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 2 K (36 pitches)

Logan Browning: 0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K (5 pitches)

Salem went up 2-0 in this best-of-five series, but now they need to go to a decisive Game Five after a truly heartbreaking loss on Saturday. This was a pitchers duel most of the night, with the score knotted up at zeros heading into the eighth. Salem finally broke through in the top of the inning, scoring on a wild pitch to go up 1-0. Wilmington then came back to score four off Martinez and Aybar in the bottom of the inning, but then somehow Salem came back with a three-run ninth to tie it back up. The game eventually headed into extras, where Salem got runners on first and third with nobody out but failed to score. That put the pressure on Browning to get a scoreless inning — remember, in the minors extra innings start with a runner on second. He couldn’t do it, and to add a little bit of extra hurt the winning hit came from Tyler Hill, who played in 124 games for Salem last year. So, they waste a terrific start from Diaz and now have a win-or-go-home game on Sunday afternoon.