The K-Tribe expanded their lead in the Carolina League Southern Division to seven games as the Indians beat Salem 3-2 on Tuesday night at Grainger Stadium. Kinston powered all three runs past Salem in the bottom of the first inning and held on for their third straight win over the Avalanche.
Reigning Carolina League Player of the Week Josh Rodriguez got the K-Tribe going with a solo home run with one-out in the bottom of the first. It’s his team leading 18th home run of the year and his eighth in the last two weeks. Rodriguez is now third in the Carolina League with the 18 round trippers. Matt Whitney followed the solo shot with a single. One batter later, K-Tribe catcher Chris Gimenez unloaded with his 17th home run of the season. Kinston took a 3-0 lead and never looked back behind great starting pitching from Jim Deters. Deters (10-3) picked up win number ten, going five innings and giving up just three hits. Deters struck out three, while giving up just one earned run and lowering his earned run average to 2.00. Chris Niesel pitched three perfect inning from the bullpen, striking out three and retiring all nine batters he faced. Scott Roehl closed it down with his Carolina League leading 22nd save of the season.
Kinston and Salem get together for a double header on Wednesday starting at 5pm at Grainger Stadium. The K-Tribe will send Erik Stiller to the mound for game one. Kevin Dixon will take the hill for game two.