Game #15 Preview – Dash at Salem

Game #15 – Road Game #8
Winston-Salem Dash (4-10) at Salem Red Sox (10-4)
Thursday, April 21 – 7:05 p.m.
LewisGale Field (Salem, VA)

GAME BACKGROUND:

Thanks to a three-run eighth inning, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans earned a 4-1 win over the Dash in Wednesday’s rubber match at BB&T Ballpark. The Dash look for their first win of the season against the Salem Red Sox, who swept Winston-Salem in a four-game set at BB&T Ballpark and have won seven in a row.

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Jordan Stephens threw six strong innings against Myrtle Beach on Wednesday  (Jody Stewart/ W-S Dash).

STARTING LINEUP:

Hunter Jones – CF
Toby Thomas – 2B
Gerson Montilla – 3B
Nick Basto – 1B
Marcus Davis – DH
Brett Austin – C
Louie Lechich – RF
Mason Robbins – LF
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Blair Walters – LHP

DASH DOTS:

  • The Dash and Pelicans played another nailbiting series. Wednesday’s three-run decision marked the most lopsided contest in the last 10 tilts between the two division rivals. Since the start of the 2015 season, Winston and Myrtle have met 35 times, and the Birds possess a slight 18-17 advantage. The Dash still have nine games against Myrtle Beach in the first half (3 home/6 road), and all of them take place from May 2-20.
  • The Dash dropped six of seven on their first homestand of the season. This matches the worst multi-series homestand in BB&T Ballpark’s seven-year history. The only other time the Dash failed to collect multiple wins during a homestand of at least six games was from April 16-21, when Frederick swept Winston-Salem in a weather-condensed three-game set and Salem followed with a three-out-of-four take.
  • The Salem Red Sox, Winston-Salem’s opponent this weekend, contributed significantly to the Dash’s frustrating start at home. Salem left the Triad with just the fifth sweep for an opponent at BB&T Ballpark. It was only the second brooming of four games at a facility that has hosted 23 sweeps for the home team. A franchise that has not won a first half crown since 1988, Salem ended up posting a perfect 7-0 road trip after sweeping Carolina in Zebulon earlier this week.
  • Even though the Dash are 4-10 through the first two weeks of the season, they are shining in some key areas. Winston-Salem starters boast a 2.94 earned run average, and only once has an opponent scratched across more than two earned runs against a member of the team’s rotation (Matt Cooper, 3 ER on Monday against Myrtle Beach). On Wednesday night, Jordan Stephens logged the Dash’s second quality start in a career-high six innings of work (1 ER, 4 H, 7 K). Defensively, the Dash have committed just five errors in their last 11 games after amassing 10 defensive miscues in the first three.
  • Thanks to his fourth-inning single Wednesday, Marcus Davis pushed his hitting streak to eight games, the longest by a Winston-Salem hitter in 2016. During this surge, the former San Diego farmhand is 10-for-33 (.303) with seven RBIs and two runs scored. Davis has reached in 12 of his first 13 games with Winston-Salem.
  • Several Dash players are among the cream of the crop in the Carolina League in various categories. Infielder Nick Basto, who had a seven-game hit streak snapped on Monday, is fourth in hits (18) and sixth in average (.353) on the circuit. Outfielder Hunter Jones is tied for second in at-bats (58) and fourth in stolen bases (8). On the bump, Spencer Adams is seventh in earned run average (1.80), while he and Cooper are second and third in the CL in strikeouts with 19 and 18, respectively.
  • After an 0-for-4 showing Wednesday, Toby Thomas’ five-game hit streak came to an end.
  • His ninth-inning single propelled the Dash to a walk-off win over Myrtle Beach on Tuesday.
  • The Dash’s 4-1 loss on Wednesday marked the third-most lopsided game of the season.
  • So far this year, the Dash have played 11 games decided by two runs or less.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Thursday’s game will be broadcast live on 600 AM-WSJS in the Winston-Salem area, as is the case with every Thursday game throughout the season. The game is also available on wsjs.com, as well as wsdash.com/broadcast and the TuneIn App. The Pregame Dash will begin at 6:50 p.m.

-Joe

Game #14 Preview – Dash vs. Myrtle Beach

Game #14 – Home Game #7
Winston-Salem Dash (4-9) vs. Myrtle Beach Pelicans (6-7)
Wednesday, April 20 – 7 p.m.
BB&T Ballpark (Winston-Salem, NC)

GAME BACKGROUND:

Behind Toby Thomas’ walk-off single in the ninth, Winston-Salem stunned Myrtle Beach 6-5 to end its five-game losing streak. The Dash now go for their second series win of the season against the Pelicans on Wednesday night.

STARTING LINEUP:

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Marcus Davis has hit safely in seven games in a row (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

Hunter Jones – CF
Toby Thomas – 2B
Gerson Montilla – 3B
Nick Basto – 1B
Marcus Davis – DH
Brett Austin – C
Louie Lechich – RF
Ryan Leonards – SS
Michael Danner – LF
Jordan Stephens – RHP

DASH DOTS:

  • Thomas’ heroics ended Winston-Salem’s worst home start since BB&T Ballpark opened in 2010 (0-5). The Dash also avoided the longest single-season home losing streak since entering this downtown facility. Winston-Salem has endured five home skids of five games, but the club has avoided a six-game funk. Since 2010, the Dash’s 245-181 (.575) record at home is the best in the Carolina League.
  • Three of Winston-Salem’s four victories this season have come in its last at-bat. The Dash plated eight in the 13th inning at Lynchburg on Opening Night (April 7) before plating a pair in the ninth at Myrtle Beach on April 13 to break a 2-2 tie. Thomas did deliver the Dash’s first walk-off hit since July 4, 2015, when Omar Narvaez sunk Frederick with a single in the 11th inning.
  • Thomas is one of multiple Dash hitters who have shined as of late. He is riding a five-game hit streak, during which the Alabama native is 8-for-21 (.381) with two RBIs and four runs. The only Winston-Salem hitter with a longer streak is Marcus Davis, who has hit safely in seven in a row (9-for-29 [.310], seven RBIs, two runs). Also, Nick Basto stands third in average (.367) and fourth in hits (18) on the circuit.
  • Winston-Salem has played 13 games thus far this season, and 11 of them have been decided by one or two runs. The Dash are just 3-8 in those games, but all three of those victories have come against the Pelicans. Dating back to the start of the 2015 season, Winston and Myrtle have split 34 meetings (including postseason). Each of the last nine clashes have been either one- or two-run affairs. These two clubs still have three more series in the first half, with the next one set for May 2-4 in the Triad.
  • Even though the Dash are just 4-9, they have received strong pitching from most members of their staff. The Dash’s 3.65 earned run average is fourth-best in the CL. Only once has a Dash starter surrendered more than two earned runs, and the rotation boasts a 3.08 ERA. Out of the bullpen, Connor Walsh had not given up a hit in his first 8.1 innings in High-A before Yasiel Balaguert went deep in the eighth on Tuesday.
  • Following Wednesday’s rubber match against Myrtle Beach, the Dash hit the road for a four-game set against the first-place Salem Red Sox. Salem dealt the Dash just their fifth home sweep in BB&T Ballpark’s seven seasons this past weekend. The four games were decided by a combined six runs. The Red Sox finished a perfect road trip with a sweep-clinching win at Carolina on Wednesday afternoon. Salem, who has not won a first-half crown since 1988, will enjoy at least a three-game lead in the division standings when the series begins Thursday.
  • The Dash claimed a rubber match win against the Birds last Wednesday at TicketReturn.Com Field with a 4-2 win.
  • Starter Jordan Stephens has worked exactly four innings in his first two High-A outings.
  • The Dash have committed three errors in their last two games after just one over their previous eight.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Wednesday’s game will be broadcast live on wsdash.com/broadcast and the TuneIn Radio app. It is also available via MiLB.tv (subscription required). The Pregame Dash will begin at 6:45 p.m., with the first pitch at 7 p.m.

-Joe

Game #13 Preview – Dash vs. Myrtle Beach

Game #13 – Home Game #6
Winston-Salem Dash (3-9) vs. Myrtle Beach Pelicans (6-6)
Tuesday, April 19 – 7 p.m.
BB&T Ballpark (Winston-Salem, NC)

GAME BACKGROUND:

Despite back-to-back home runs from Marcus Davis and Brett Austin in the eighth, Winston-Salem dropped the opener of its three-game series with Myrtle Beach 6-4 on Monday night at BB&T Ballpark. The Dash search for their first home win of the season on Tuesday against the Pelicans.

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Toby Thomas smashed a season-high three hits against Myrtle Beach on Monday (Jody Stewart/ W-S Dash).

STARTING LINEUP:

Hunter Jones – CF
Toby Thomas – 2B
Gerson Montilla – 3B
Nick Basto – 1B
Marcus Davis – DH
Louie Lechich – RF
Chris O’Dowd – C
Mason Robbins – LF
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Thad Lowry – RHP

DASH DOTS:

  • The last three times Winston-Salem has hit back-to-back home runs, the Pelicans have been in the other dugout. Davis and Austin’s offensive exploits marked the first time the Dash had gone back-to-back in the regular season since July 7, 2013, when Rangel Ravelo and Courtney Hawkins did it at BB&T Ballpark. However, Trey Michalczewski and Keon Barnum did string together consecutive home runs in the first inning in Game 1 of last year’s Southern Division Championship Series.
  • At 0-5, Winston-Salem is off to its worst start at home since BB&T Ballpark opened in 2010. If they lose tonight, the Dash will post their longest single-season skid in the downtown facility’s history. Winston-Salem did have a nine-game skid from the final five home games of 2014 through the first four of last season. The Dash are currently mired in the fifth single-season home losing streak of five games, all of which have occurred since August of 2013.
  • In the second half of 2015, the Dash were 26-10 (.722) in games decided by one or two runs. While some thought this would even out down the stretch last year, the recalibration seems to be taking place now. All but two of the Dash’s first 12 games have been decided by one or two runs, and the Dash are 2-8 in those contests.
  • On Monday night, a Dash starter permitted more than two earned runs for the first time all year. Matt Cooper, who had logged five innings and gave up two earned runs in each of his first two outings, let three come around in a losing effort against the Pelicans in the series opener. The Dash’s rotation owns a 3.05 earned run average and has spun 56.0 total innings, or exactly four and two-thirds innings per game.
  • The Dash’s lengthy errorless streak came to an end Monday. Before a ninth-inning error on a pickoff attempt, Winston-Salem had recorded 58 consecutive innings without an error, a streak that began after Cleuluis Rondon’s throwing error in last Tuesday’s fifth inning at Myrtle Beach. In the last nine games, the Dash have posted just two defensive miscues after a league-worst 10 in the first three games of 2016. Winston-Salem’s .975 fielding percentage is good for fourth-place on the eight-team circuit.
  • Even though the Dash could only scratch out four runs Monday, multiple hitters posted big nights. Toby Thomas amassed three hits for the first time in his High-A career. With a pair of knocks, Davis pushed his hitting streak to six, which is now the longest active run on the club. Nick Basto’s seven-game surge ended due to an 0-for-3 showing. Still, Basto remains in the top 10 in the Carolina League in hits (4th; 16), total bases (T-9th; 22), RBIs (T-9th; 8), at-bats (T-10th, 46) and batting average (10th; .348).
  • Low-A Kannapolis suffered an 8-7 loss at West Virginia in 16 innings on Monday. The game took five hours and one minute, the third-longest in franchise history and the longest in the White Sox system, clipping the Dash’s season opener in Lynchburg by two minutes.
  • Since the start of 2015, the Dash and Pelicans have played 33 times, and Myrtle Beach owns a 17-16 edge.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Tuesday’s game will be broadcast live on wsdash.com/broadcast and the TuneIn Radio app. It is also available via MiLB.tv (subscription required). The Pregame Dash will begin at 6:45 p.m., with the first pitch at 7 p.m.

-Joe

Game #12 Preview – Dash vs. Myrtle Beach

Game #12 – Home Game #5
Winston-Salem Dash (3-8) vs. Myrtle Beach Pelicans (5-6)
Monday, April 18 – 7 p.m.
BB&T Ballpark (Winston-Salem, NC)

GAME BACKGROUND:

Even though Salem only outscored the Dash by five runs in this past weekend’s four-game set, the Red Sox earned a sweep, finishing it with a 3-1 victory on Sunday afternoon. The Dash look to regroup on Monday night against the Pelicans.

STARTING LINEUP:

WEB-KAN-Jacob-Morris

Jacob Morris threw two hitless innings in his first appearance with the Dash on Sunday (Ray Marsden).

Hunter Jones – CF
Toby Thomas – 2B
Ryan Leonards – 3B
Nick Basto – 1B
Marcus Davis – DH
Brett Austin – C
Louie Lechich – RF
Mason Robbins – LF
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Matt Cooper – RHP

DASH DOTS:

  • As a result of Sunday’s victory, Salem clinched the fifth sweep for an opponent in BB&T Ballpark history. It also marked just the second four-game sweep for a visitor, joining Carolina’s brooming from August 22-25, 2014. The Red Sox became the first team to sweep the Dash multiple times since the downtown facility opened in 2010. Winston-Salem had not been swept at BB&T Ballpark until its 82nd regular season series in mid-August of 2013. The Dash have earned 23 series sweeps at BB&T Ballpark.
  • In the first three games of their series with Salem, the Dash had ample run-scoring chances but simply did not take advantage of enough of them. The Dash left 31 runners from Thursday to Saturday and went 7-for-36 (.194) with men in scoring position. However, the Dash only left two men aboard on Sunday, and they had one at-bat with men in scoring position.
  • Nick Basto has hit safely in seven consecutive games, one shy of the longest 2016-only active hitting streak in the CL. During this stretch, the Davie, Fla., native is 11-for-29 (.379) with five RBIs and four runs scored. Overall this season, Basto is tied for second in hits (16), tied for fifth in total bases (22) and RBIs (8) and tied for sixth in batting average (.372) in the Carolina League.
  • A starting pitcher’s main responsibility is to keep his club in the game, and Winston-Salem’s rotation has done just that in 2016. Dash starters collectively own a 2.82 earned run average, and none have permitted more than two earned runs in an outing thus far this season. On Sunday, Spencer Adams limited Salem to one run over five innings, during which he struck out eight (one shy of a career-high). The rotation has averaged only about four and two-thirds innings per start, but this is common early in the season because pitch ceilings are lower than normal.
  •  Winston-Salem’s defense struggled mightily in its first three games of the season. The Dash logged 10 errors, including five in the final game of that stretch (April 9 at Lynchburg). Since then, the Dash have only committed one error in their last eight games (Cleuluis Rondon throwing error on Tuesday at Myrtle Beach). The Dash, who were well behind the rest of the CL in fielding percentage through three games, have jumped all the way to third place (.975).
  • For a second season in a row, the Dash have begun their home slate at 0-4. Winston-Salem kicked off its work at BB&T Ballpark in 2015 with three losses to Myrtle Beach and a defeat at the hands of Carolina before snapping their streak. Unless the Dash knock off Myrtle Beach on Monday, they will match the longest single-season home skid in BB&T Ballpark history, which was last suffered from June 16-20, 2015.
  • Offensively, the Dash did not strike out, and they did not coax a walk on Sunday. Before the game, Winston was averaging 9.1 strikeouts and 3.1 walks per contest.
  • The Dash took two of three against Myrtle Beach last Monday through Wednesday.
    These two teams have split their last 32 regular season and postseason games since the start of the 2015 season.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Monday’s game will be broadcast live on wsdash.com/broadcast and the TuneIn Radio app. The Pregame Dash will begin at 6:45 p.m., with the first pitch at 7 p.m.

-Joe

 

Game #11 Preview – Dash vs. Salem

Game #11 – Home Game #4
Winston-Salem Dash (3-7) vs. Salem Red Sox (6-4)
Sunday, April 17 – 2 p.m.
BB&T Ballpark (Winston-Salem, NC)

GAME BACKGROUND:

For the third consecutive night, Salem claimed a one-run win over Winston-Salem. On Saturday, the Red Sox nipped the Dash 3-2 in 10 innings to set up a sweep opportunity at BB&T Ballpark. The Dash hope avoid an opening weekend sweep on Sunday.

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Andre Wheeler threw two shutout innings on Saturday. (W-S Journal)

STARTING LINEUP:

Hunter Jones – CF
Toby Thomas – 2B
Gerson Montilla – 3B
Nick Basto – DH
Marcus Davis – 1B
Brett Austin – C
Louie Lechich – RF
Mason Robbins – LF
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Spencer Adams – RHP

DASH DOTS:

  • The Dash have scuffled in run-scoring situations during this series. Winston-Salem is just 7-for-36 (.194) with men in scoring position, including 3-for-24 (.152) over the last two contests. The Dash have stranded 31 runners against Salem, and 17 of them have been in scoring position at the end of an inning. No Carolina League team has stranded more runners than Winston-Salem (81), while the Dash are hitting just .231 men in scoring position (.186 with two outs and RISP).
  • Last season’s second-half surge to the Carolina League playoffs was predicated on winning close games. Winston-Salem was well ahead of any other club in one-run games in half two (17-3). However, the Dash have already played six such contests in 2016, and they are just 1-5. All but two of the Winston-Salem’s 10 games have featured a margin of one or two, and this does not include the club’s 13-inning win at Lynchburg on April 7 (14-6).
  • Since BB&T Ballpark opened in 2010, the Dash have only suffered four home sweeps. Salem can make it five with a victory on Sunday. The Red Sox were the first time to accomplish the feat, and it came in the 82nd all-time series at this downtown facility. The Dash have not been broomed in the Triad since the first series of last season, when Myrtle Beach earned a rain-shortened three-game sweep from April 17-18.
  • With a sixth-inning single Saturday, infielder Nick Basto pushed his hitting streak to six, the longest by a Dash hitter this season. Within the Carolina League, Basto stands tied for first in hits (15), third in RBIs (8), tied for fourth in total bases and fifth in batting average (.375). Last season, Basto only mustered eight hits in his 19 games in April, during which he posted a .123 average. The former fifth-round pick did not collect his 15th knock until May 11 (31st game).
  • A starting pitcher’s main responsibility is to keep his club in the game, and Winston-Salem’s rotation has done just that in 2016. Dash starters collectively own a 2.93 earned run average, and none have permitted more than two earned runs in an outing thus far this season. The rotation has averaged only about 4.2 innings per start, though that is common early in the season because pitch ceilings are lower than normal.
  • Spencer Adams has not pitched like a teenager in his career, though Sunday will mark his first professional start beyond his teens. The third-best prospect in the White Sox system per most outlets, Adams dominated Myrtle Beach on Tuesday to the tune of six shutout innings, the longest start by a Winston-Salem hurler in 2016. The Dash are 2-0 when Adams starts and 1-7 when he does not take the mound.
  • The White Sox announced Sunday morning that right-hander James Dykstra has been activated from the disabled list and transferred to Double-A Birmingham.
  • Dykstra, who is heading to the Southern League for the first time, was 7-10 with a 3.51 ERA in Winston-Salem a year ago.
  • Ryan Leonards has hit safely in all three of his starts, during which he is 4-for-10 (.400).

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Television coverage of Sunday’s contest will be available on My48 at 2 p.m. A full channel guide is available here. The game will also be broadcast live on wsdash.com/broadcast and the TuneIn Radio app. The Pregame Dash will begin at 1:45 p.m., with the first pitch set for 2 p.m.

-Joe

Game #10 Preview – Dash vs. Salem

Game #10 – Home Game #3
Winston-Salem Dash (3-6) vs. Salem Red Sox (5-4)
Saturday, April 16 – 6:30 p.m.
BB&T Ballpark (Winston-Salem, NC)

GAME BACKGROUND:

Winston-Salem dropped its second consecutive one-run decision to Salem, 3-2 on Friday night at BB&T Ballpark. The Dash stranded a season-high 13 runners, eight of whom were in scoring position at the end of an inning. The Dash look to get back on the winning track Saturday night.

STARTING LINEUP:

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Hunter Jones went 4-for-4 on Friday against Salem, falling a home run short of the cycle (Jody Stewart / W-S Dash).

Hunter Jones – CF
Michael Danner – RF
Gerson Montilla – 3B
Nick Basto – 1B
Marcus Davis – DH
Chris O’Dowd – C
Mason Robbins – LF
Ryan Leonards – 2B
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Blair Walters – LHP

DASH DOTS:

  • Outfielder Hunter Jones became the first Dash hitter to record four knocks in a 2016 game. He was a perfect 4-for-4 after going 4-for-25 (.160) in his previous six contests. The Lakewood, Calif., native fell a home run shy of the first cycle for Winston-Salem in the Dash era (2009-present). The last time a member of the franchise hit for the cycle was May 14, 2008, when Warthogs first baseman Brandon Allen accomplished the feat against Lynchburg.

  • Since BB&T Ballpark opened in 2010, the Dash boast the Carolina League’s best home record (244-178; .578 winning percentage). However, Winston-Salem is off to an 0-2 start to its home slate for a third consecutive season. Last year’s club dropped its first four home contests, the worst start since this downtown facility opened.

  • Five of the Dash’s first nine games have been decided by a single tally, and Winston is just 1-4 in those contests. The Dash have also played a pair of two-run games, while their season-opening 14-6 win at Lynchburg was decided in the last at-bat with the Dash’s eight-run 13th. Only one game has been without drama in the late innings (7-2 loss at Lynchburg on April 10).

  • A starting pitcher’s main responsibility is to keep his club in the game, and Winston-Salem’s rotation has done just that in 2016. Dash starters collectively own a 2.85 earned run average, and none have permitted more than two earned runs in an outing thus far this season. The rotation has averaged only about 4.2 innings per start, though that is common early in the season because pitch ceilings are lower than normal.

  • Infielder Nick Basto continues to hit as well as anyone in the Carolina League. Basto is one of four hitters on the circuit with an average at or above .400. He is tied with Carolina’s Keith Curcio for the league lead with 14 hits, while Basto places third in RBIs (8) and tied for fourth in total bases. Last season, Basto only mustered eight hits in his 19 games in the month of April, during which he posted a .123 average. He did not have his 14th hit until May 9 (29th game).

  • The White Sox announced a pair of transactions affecting the Dash’s roster on Saturday. Nolan Sanburn, who had struck out 11 in 7.2 scoreless innings with the Dash’s bullpen, has earned a promotion to Double-A Birmingham. Fellow right-hander Jacob Morris has joined the Dash from extended spring training. A converted outfielder, Morris went 5-3 with a 4.47 ERA in 35 relief appearances with Low-A Kannapolis in 2015.
  • Winston-Salem has swiped nine bases, and seven of them belong to Jones, who stole two bases on Friday night.

  • The Dash have logged a triple in four straight games after going without one for the first five contests of 2016.

  • Shortstop Cleuluis Rondon has reached safely in all eight starts this year, and he has at least one hit in six of those efforts.

  • Before tonight, Brett Austin played in three straight games after he and Chris O’Dowd alternated starts behind the plate in the first six games of the campaign.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Saturday’s game will be broadcast live on wsdash.com/broadcast and the TuneIn Radio app. The Pregame Dash will begin at 6:15 p.m., with the first pitch at 6:30 p.m.

-Joe

Game #9 Preview – Dash vs. Salem

Game #9 – Home Game #2
Winston-Salem Dash (3-5) vs. Salem Red Sox (4-4)
Friday, April 15 – 7 p.m.
BB&T Ballpark (Winston-Salem, NC)

GAME BACKGROUND:

The Dash plated three in the eighth inning, but the Salem Red Sox escaped with a 6-5 victory in Thursday’s home opener at BB&T Ballpark. The Dash go for their first home win on Friday.

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Mason Robbins notched two hits in the Dash’s home opener on Thursday (Ray Marsden).

STARTING LINEUP:

Hunter Jones – CF
Louie Lechich – RF
Gerson Montilla – 3B
Nick Basto – 1B
Marcus Davis – DH
Brett Austin – C
Mason Robbins – LF
Toby Thomas – 2B
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Jordan Stephens – RHP

DASH DOTS:

  • Infielder Nick Basto posted his fifth multi-hit game in seven starts this season, and his batting average went down. The former fifth-round pick stands fifth in the Carolina League in batting average (.419). He is also second in hits (13), third in total bases (19) and tied for third in RBIs (7). Last season, Basto only mustered eight hits in his 19 games in the month of April, during which he posted a .123 average. He did not have his 13th hit until May 8 (27th game).
  • While Dash starters have not been able to go deep into games quite yet, they have kept the Dash in almost every game. Winston-Salem’s rotation has a collective earned run average of 2.68, and no Dash starter has permitted more than two earned runs in a start this year. Before the Red Sox tagged Thad Lowry for two runs in the fourth on Thursday, the Dash’s starting staff had recorded 14 consecutive scoreless innings.
  • Winston-Salem has not received the same type of productivity from its bullpen, which possesses a 4.84 earned run average and has walked 23 in 35.1 innings (5.9 per 9 IP). If it were not for Nolan Sanburn’s dominance (7.2 IP, 0 R, 11 K), the Dash’s bullpen would have a 6.18 ERA. Winston has blown three of four save chances this season, while the ‘pen has given up at least two runs in six of the club’s first eight games.
  • Since moving into BB&T Ballpark in 2010, the Dash have been the best home team in the Carolina League (244-177; .580 win percentage). However, Winston-Salem has dropped four home openers in a row, all of which have come by narrow margins. The run differential is only six in these four defeats. The Dash are hoping to avoid a third consecutive 0-2 start at home. Salem has also enjoyed more success than most in the Triad. The Dash are 16-19 (.457) against the Red Sox at home since 2013.
  • Once again this season, Dash fans flooded BB&T Ballpark for the team’s home lid-lifter. The crowd of 5,917 fans was the best showing for the home opener that was played on a Thursday in BB&T Ballpark history. In the early years at this new facility, the Dash oftentimes opened on a Friday. In the seven seasons at BB&T Ballpark, the Dash have averaged 6,279 fans for the home opener. Overall, the Dash have finished first or second in High-A in yearly attendance since 2010, the first year at the new facility.
  • After starting the season 2-for-27, outfielder Louie Lechich has three hits in his last nine at-bats, including his first multi-hit game Thursday night.
  • Right-hander Jordan Stephens made his longest professional outing during his first High-A start on Sunday at Lynchburg (4.0 IP, 2 R, 1 ER).
  • Six of the Dash’s first eight games have been decided by one or two runs.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Friday’s game will be broadcast live on wsdash.com/broadcast and the TuneIn Radio app. The Pregame Dash will begin at 6:45 p.m., with the first pitch at 7 p.m.

-Joe

Game #8 Preview – Dash vs. Salem

Game #8 – Home Game #1
Winston-Salem Dash (3-4) vs. Salem Red Sox (3-4)
Thursday, April 14 – 7 p.m.
BB&T Ballpark (Winston-Salem, NC)

GAME BACKGROUND:

After a 1-4 start to this road trip, Winston-Salem bounced back with consecutive wins, the most recent a 4-2 squeaker against Myrtle Beach on Wednesday night. The Dash return home to BB&T Ballpark on Thursday for their 2016 home opener.

bbtballpark2 480

BB&T Ballpark begins its seventh season on Thursday night when the Dash entertain Salem.

STARTING LINEUP:

Hunter Jones – CF
Louie Lechich – RF
Gerson Montilla – 3B
Nick Basto – 1B
Marcus Davis – DH
Brett Austin – C
Mason Robbins – LF
Toby Thomas – 2B
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Thad Lowry – RHP

DASH DOTS:

  • For the first time in 218 days, the Dash will take the field at BB&T Ballpark on Thursday night. Since moving into the facility in 2010, Winston-Salem boasts a 244-176 (.581) home record, which is the best in the Carolina League during that span. The Dash have posted a winning mark at home in five of their first six seasons, with 2014 the exception (34-35). Over the next 24 games through May 8, the Dash will play 17 games at home, with 14 of them against division rivals Myrtle Beach and Salem.

  • Even though the Dash have enjoyed tremendous success at BB&T Ballpark, the home opener has been a different story. Winston-Salem has not claimed the lid-lifter of its home schedule since 2012, a 1-0 victory over Carolina. Since then, the Dash have dropped three home openers in a row by a combined five runs. In all, Winston is 2-4 in the first home game at BB&T Ballpark.

  • Infielder Nick Basto has been the strongest offensive option for Winston-Salem thus far this season. Within the Carolina League, Basto is tied for second in hits (11), tied for second in RBIs (6), tied for third in total bases (17), fifth in slugging (.654) and sixth in average (.423). The former fifth-round pick already has four multi-hit games in just six starts.

  • Once again this year, Winston-Salem struggled in its first series and thrived in its second. The Dash fell to 5-13 in the first set of the season over the last five years after dropping three of four to Lynchburg. However, thanks to this series win at Myrtle Beach, Winston-Salem is 10-5 in the second series during the same span. Though it only collected one victory, the Dash’s starting rotation shined to the tune of a 2.51 ERA (9 ER in 32.1 IP). Two of the Dash’s three wins came in the last at-bat, while Winston struck first in all but one game on the road trip.

  • Thursday starts a busy first half between these two division rivals. Winston and Salem will meet 20 times before the All-Star break, with 12 of those contests in the Triad. Last week, Baseball America claimed that Salem possessed the best Opening Day roster in the Minors. The Sox have three of the top 20 prospects in all of baseball: 2B Yoan Moncada (3), OF Andrew Benintendi (15) and 3B Rafael Devers (18).

  • After punching out five on Wednesday, Sanburn has whiffed 11 in 7.2 scoreless innings over three appearances.

  • In his High-A debut against Lynchburg on Saturday, Thad Lowry retired the first six he faced and blanked the Hillcats until the fifth, when they ousted him from the contest with four runs.

  • Former Dash southpaw Carlos Rodon tossed six shutout innings in the White Sox 3-0 win at Minnesota on Wednesday.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Television coverage of Thursday’s home opener will be available on My 48. A full channel guide is available here. The game will also be on 600 AM-WSJS, wsdash.com/broadcast and the TuneIn Radio App. The Pregame Dash will begin at 6:45 p.m., with the first pitch at 7:00 p.m.

-Joe

Game #7 Preview – Dash at Myrtle Beach

Game #7 – Road Game #7
Winston-Salem Dash (2-4) at Myrtle Beach Pelicans (3-3)
Wednesday, April 13 – 7:05 p.m.
TicketReturn.Com Field (Myrtle Beach, SC)

GAME BACKGROUND:

Behind six sensational innings from Spencer Adams, Winston-Salem edged Myrtle Beach 4-3 on Tuesday night at TicketReturn.Com Field. Adams, who turned 20 today, scattered six hits in what was the longest start from a Dash hurler in 2016. Winston-Salem goes for their first series win of the season on Wednesday.

STARTING LINEUP:

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Cleuluis Rondon (above) turned 22 years old on Wednesday. He shares a birthday with pitcher Spencer Adams, who turned 20 (Andrew Dye/ W-S Journal).

Hunter Jones – CF
Louie Lechich – RF
Gerson Montilla – 3B
Nick Basto – DH
Marcus Davis – 1B
Brett Austin – C
Michael Danner – LF
Toby Thomas – 2B
Ryan Leonards – SS
Matt Cooper – RHP

DASH DOTS:

  • Dash first baseman Nick Basto continues to shine in the first week of the season. On Tuesday, the former fifth-round pick went 3-for-4, including an RBI triple in the third inning. Basto has collected at least two hits in four of his five starts, and his .455 batting average (10-for-22) is second-best in the league. He only trails Carolina’s Keith Curcio (.462) among qualifiers. Last year, Basto did not record his 10th hit of the season until May 5, his 24th game.
  • Not much has separated the Dash and Pelicans in recent meetings. Tuesday marked the two clubs’ fourth consecutive one-run game. Eight of the last nine have been decided by one or two runs, with Myrtle Beach enjoying a slight 5-4 advantage during this stretch. Since the start of 2015, the Dash and Birds have met 31 times, and Myrtle Beach owns a slight 16-15 edge.
  • While the Dash’s starters have been outstanding during this series, the bullpen has scuffled. Winston-Salem’s starting duo of Blair Walters and Adams has blanked the Birds over 10 combined innings of work. On the flip side, the Dash’s bullpen has permitted eight runs (all earned) in seven and a third innings (9.82 ERA).
  • Myrtle Beach’s Jonathan Martinez will make his fifth start against Winston-Salem on Wednesday. Most recently, Martinez won the deciding Game 3 of last year’s Southern Division Championship Series (6.0 IP, 2 R-ER). In three regular season outings against the Dash, the righty boasted a 1.13 ERA (16.0 IP, 2 ER). On Opening Night, Martinez limited Frederick to one run in five innings en route to the victory.
  • Following Wednesday’s rubber match at Myrtle Beach, the Dash will begin the seventh season inside BB&T Ballpark. Winston entertains the Salem Red Sox for a four-game set that kicks off Thursday night. Since the beautiful downtown facility opened in 2010, the Dash boast a 244-176 (.581) home record, the best in the Carolina League during that span. However, the Dash have not won their first home game since 2012, a 1-0 victory over Carolina.
  • In addition to Adams, infielder Cleuluis Rondon is celebrating a birthday, his 22nd.
  • Even though they have only committed one error in their last three games, the Dash still pace the circuit in defensive miscues with 11, one more than both Carolina and Lynchburg.
  • In his first professional start on Friday at Lynchburg, Matt Cooper gave up just two runs over five innings. He had made 59 relief appearances with the Sox system before transitioning into a starting role.

Wednesday’s game will be broadcast live on wsdash.com/broadcast and the TuneIn Radio app. The Pregame Dash will begin at 6:50 p.m., with the first pitch at 7:05 p.m.

-Joe

Game #6 Preview – Dash at Myrtle Beach

Game #6 – Road Game #6
Winston-Salem Dash (1-4) at Myrtle Beach Pelicans (3-2)
Tuesday, April 12 – 7:05 p.m.
TicketReturn.Com Field (Myrtle Beach, SC)

GAME BACKGROUND:

Myrtle Beach took advantage of four walks in the bottom of the ninth to stun the Dash 5-4 at TicketReturn.Com Field on Monday night. Winston-Salem has now dropped four in a row since winning their season opener against Lynchburg, and three straight against the Pelicans dating back to last year’s SDCS. The Dash look to right the ship tonight against the 2015 Carolina League Champions.

Connor_Walsh_2_oq4ulsel_30svtzlh

Connor Walsh has spun two scoreless appearances for the Dash this season (Ray Marsden/ Kannapolis Intimidators).

STARTING LINEUP:

Hunter Jones – CF
Louie Lechich – RF
Gerson Montilla – 3B
Nick Basto – 1B
Marcus Davis – DH
Mason Robbins – LF
Chris O’Dowd – C
Toby Thomas – 2B
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Spencer Adams – RHP

DASH DOTS:

  • The Dash never trailed on Monday night until Ian Happ’s walk-off, two-run double, which is pretty remarkable considering Winston-Salem’s pitching staff dished out 11 walks throughout the contest. This marks the club’s highest single-game walks total since May 26, 2011, at Kinston (12). Entering Tuesday, Winston-Salem paces the Carolina League with 29 walks, 10 more than the next-closest squads in this category (Lynchburg and Myrtle Beach).
  • After claiming the season opener in 13 innings at Lynchburg, the Dash have lost four in a row. Thus, Winston-Salem is off to its first 1-4 start since the 2005 Warthogs, a team that did win its sixth game to move to 2-4. If the Dash drop Tuesday’s middle match at Myrtle Beach, they would record a five-game losing streak in the month of April for a third straight year. In April since 2014, Winston-Salem is just 19-29 (.396).
  • Monday’s matchup was the first between the Dash and Pelicans since last year’s Southern Division Championship Series, which concluded with back-to-back Myrtle Beach wins by a single run. These two clubs have played some very close games since the end of last season. Including the regular season and postseason, seven of the last eight contests in the series have been decided by one or two runs. Myrtle Beach is 5-3 during that span.
  • Dash infielder Nick Basto did earn a measure of revenge with a fourth-inning blast to left-center. It was Winston-Salem’s second home run of the season, joining Brett Austin’s three-run bomb in the 13th inning Thursday at Lynchburg. Basto, who has recorded a multi-hit game in three of his four starts this season, was the 27th out in both playoff losses at Myrtle Beach a year ago. This season, Basto is tied for eighth in the CL in average (.389) and tied for second in RBIs (5).
  • Right-hander Connor Walsh has struck out five in four scoreless innings in 2016.
  • The Dash, who only lost four games when leading after eight innings last season, dropped their first such game of this year on Monday.
  • Spencer Adams spun four innings and gave up three runs (two earned) in his first outing Thursday at Lynchburg.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Tuesday’s game will be broadcast live on wsdash.com/broadcast and the TuneIn Radio app. The Pregame Dash will begin at 6:50 p.m., with the first pitch at 7:05 p.m.

-Joe

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