KINSTON, N.C. (DEWDS) – The Down East Wood Ducks raced past the Frederick Keys, 6-3, Thursday to earn a split in their four game series and wrap up the home slate in the regular season.
With the victory, the Wood Ducks (36-28, 86-48) become the all-time winningest Advanced-A affiliate in Rangers history, eclipsing the win mark set by the Port Charlotte Rangers in 1990.
The Woodies started out strong. Julio Pablo Martinez led off the home first by lifting his 12th home run of the season off the video board in right-center go put Down East ahead, 1-0. He went on to enjoy at four-hit night.
Frederick (24-39, 53-79) took the lead by taking advantage of a couple of errors in the fourth inning. Ben Breazeale reached at first when Sal Mendez (win, 7-2) dropped the throw, covering, and then one batter later, Cole Billingsley reached on a ball under the glove of Tyler Depreta-Johnson at shortstop. Later in the inning Robbie Thorburn came through with a two run double to give the Keys their lone lead of the ballgame, 2-1.
Down East was quick to respond. Yohel Pozo ripped a leadoff double to center in the home fourth, and two batters later, Bubba Thompson split the gap in left-center with a two-bagger to tie the score at 2-2. Yanio Perez followed with an RBI single up the middle to give Down East the lead back, and Martinez then capped the scoring with another single up the middle to make it a 4-2 lead.
Mendez pushed across a run with four walks in the fifth, but was able to battle through his control difficulties to strand the bases loaded. He gave up three runs (one earned) on three hits, walked five, and struck out three. He finishes the regular season with a league-best 2.37 ERA.
The Woodies plated some insurance in the sixth. Depreta-Johnson reached on a one-out single, and then traded places with Martinez after a fielder’s choice. Sam Huff then worked a walk, and Curtis Terry followed with a two-run double just inside the right field foul line to make it 6-3.
Brenan Hanifee (loss, 9-10) gave up six runs on 11 hits, walked two and struck out one on the night for Frederick.
Jefferson Medina (save, 6) came out of the bullpen and worked around two sixth inning walks on his way to four scoreless innings of work.
The Woodies finish out the regular season with five games in four days against the Fayetteville Woodpeckers at Segra Stadium, beginning Friday at 7 p.m. The broadcast will begin at 6:50 p.m. on 960AM The Bull, and online at 960thebull.com as well as on the MiLB First Pitch and TuneIn Radio Apps. The Wood Ducks will return to Grainger Stadium for Game Three of the Divisional Round of the playoffs Friday, September 6. For tickets and more information visit woodducksbaseball.com or call (252) 686-5172.