While hitting has improved in major league baseball and much of the minors this year, that trend has bypassed Class A teams Potomac and Salem.
The two teams entered yesterday with identical team batting averages of .236 and the two worst records in the Carolina League.
Fortunately for Salem, Potomac's pitching ranks last in the league, and the Avalanche didn't waste the opportunity to capitalize in a 13-5 victory before 4,041 at Pfitzner Stadium.
Salem, last in the league's Southern Division with a 25-31 record, had 13 hits. Potomac (20-37), already eliminated from the first half Northern Division race, managed seven hits.
"I am not looking at our record [because] it gets pretty disgusting when you look at it for too long," Potomac Manager Joe Cunningham said. "We are just trying to win a game."
But that has come hard for the Cannons lately. They have lost seven of their last eight games and 14 of 18.
In their previous two games, the Cannons had scored 21 runs on 26 hits, but yesterday their bats went quiet again.
Esix Snead led off the first inning with a triple and scored on a passed ball. But the Cannons did not score again until the sixth inning, by which time Salem had built a 5-1 lead.
Salem's Mark DeFelice worked six innings to improve to 5-4. He allowed three hits and one earned run, with four walks and eight strikeouts. Potomac starter Jason Navarro (3-7) yielded five hits over six innings to lose his sixth straight decision.
Reliever Jose DeLeon continued to struggle, giving up five runs on five hits while retiring just one batter in the ninth inning.
Last season, DeLeon saved 26 games for the Cannons, but this season he has lost the closer's role and has an 8.91 earned run average.
KEYS 8, WARTHOGS 7: Luis Matos homered and drove in three runs to help Frederick take a come-from-behind Class A Carolina League win in Winston-Salem, N.C.
The Warthogs jumped out to a 5-0 lead by the third inning before the Keys got going at the plate. Frederick scored three in the fourth and two in the fifth to tie the score at five. Winston-Salem reclaimed the lead with two runs in the bottom of the fifth, but the Keys tied it with two in the seventh and took the lead for good with a run in the eighth.
Frederick reliever Ken Sims gave up one run on four hits in 2 2/3 innings to improve to 1-3. Derek Brown worked 1 2/3 innings for his sixth save of the year.
Chris Paxton had three singles and drove in two runs, while Darnell McDonald and Eddy Garabito each had two hits for the Keys, who improved to 28-29.
THUNDER 3, BAYSOX 0: Left-hander Andy Hazlett held Bowie to two hits over eight innings and Wilton Veras homered to help host Trenton (38-16) earn a split in their four-game Class AA Eastern League series with the Baysox (32-23).
Hazlett (2-5), who retired the Baysox in order five times, struck out six and walked one in front of 6,659 fans at Mercer County Waterfront Park.
Trenton took the lead on an RBI single by Shea Hillenbrand in the first inning and added a run in the second on David Eckstein's single. Veras's seventh homer, in the bottom of the sixth, rounded out the scoring.
Rob Stanifer went one inning for his first save.
Tim DeCinces and Ivanon Coffie had Bowie's only hits. Carlos Medina fell to 0-4, yielding three runs and seven hits in six innings.