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Zanetello, Bleis lead Salem to a 7-0 shutout over Myrtle Beach

Salem Red Sox

May 5, 2024 – Carolina League (CarL)
Salem Red Sox News Report

SALEM, Va. – In front of the best crowd of the year, the Red Sox had momentum going into Thursday’s game, picking up their second straight win over the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. This time in dominant fashion with a shutout victory.

Salem started off with a bang…literally. No. 8 prospect in the Boston Red Sox organization, Nazzan Zanetello, homered on the first pitch of the ball game with a 400-foot bomb over the left field fence, immediately giving the Red Sox a 1-0 lead. The 18-year-old second-round pick in the 2023 MLB Draft finished two-for-two with a walk before still being eased following a preseason injury following his third plate appearance.

On the very next pitch, Miguel Bleis dished a ball off the top of the left-field wall for a two-bagger. Freili Encarnacion reached on a fielder’s choice when Bleis beat Pelican’s catcher, Migeul Pabon’s throw to third base before Nataneal Yuten blew the ball open with a two-run triple on a liner to right, giving the Red Sox a one-minute gave us a 3-0 lead.

The Red Sox scored three more in the bottom of the second with crucial two-out production. Andy Lugo was hit by a pitch, before Nazzan Zanetello scored his second hit of the day on a single up the middle, moving Lugo to third. A wild pitch scored Lugo to make it 4-0, Salem.

Bleis walked and Encarnacion kept the bats warm with a single, moving Zanetello to third base and Bleis to second base. Moments later, Yuten reached base on a throwing error by shortstop Christian Hernandez on a routine grounder, allowing Zanetello and Bleis to score, giving the Red Sox a 6-0 lead. Aggressively moving to second base, Yuten was thrown out on the error, ending the inning.

The Red Sox struck one more time in the fourth. Lugo got things going with a one-out double and Zanetello followed with a walk. Lugo would steal third for his fifth stolen bag of the season and Bleis brought him in on an RBI single for a 7-0 lead.

Despite being held off the scoreboard offensively for the final four frames, the Red Sox put together perhaps their most complete team performance of the season.

For the second night in a row, Salem threw just three arms. 20-year-old righty Jedixson Paez was slightly out in his fourth start of the season, dishing out five full innings of scoreless baseball, four hits, no walks and seven strikeouts.

Danny Kirwin was the first out-of-pen and he remained spotless with a trio of three-up, three-down innings for three strikeouts. The recent free agent acquisition was the 2023 MAAC relief pitcher of the year at Rider and earned Third Team All-American honors, showing why on Friday night.

CJ Weins closed the door in the ninth, recording the final three outs, two of which came on the strikeout, giving the Red Sox 12 on staff.

Recently elevated to No. 4 in the Boston Red Sox organization, Bleis lived up to the hype in his three-on-three performance with a walk and an RBI.

Natanael Yuten also finished with a multi-hit game, going two-for-three with two RBI and a walk. The Red Sox defeated the Pelicans 9-4.

With the series tied at two games apiece, Myrtle Beach and Salem will play each other again on Saturday (6:05 p.m., Star Wars Night) and Sunday (3:05 p.m.).

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