The Frederick Keys failed to execute the basics in the eighth inning of a tie game tonight against Salem. Still, they managed to win.
Twice in the eighth, the Keys failed to lay down bunts. Twice, they came up with key, two-strike singles, including a grounder into right field by Darnell McDonald, scoring Brian Hughes with the go-ahead run in an 8-4 win before 5,382 in a Class A Carolina League game at Harry Grove Stadium.
The win was the fourth straight for the Keys (27-25), putting them in a first-place tie with Wilmington atop the Northern Division with 18 games to play. Wilmington lost tonight, 2-0, to Myrtle Beach.
With a runner on first and none out in the eighth, No. 9 hitter Eddy Martinez attempted to bunt, but quickly found himself down in the count at 0 and 2. After squaring around to bunt twice more, he slapped a single off the glove of third baseman Brian Keck and into left.
McDonald also squared to bunt, but twice pushed the ball foul. Down two strikes, he then sent a sharp grounder into right to put the Keys up, 5-4.
"There was definitely luck involved," said McDonald, who was 2 for 5 with three RBI. "We miss two bunts and end up getting the go-ahead runs. In that situation, I've got to be able to execute and get the bunt down, but it worked out."
Eddy Garabito followed with an RBI double, Franky Figueroa with a run-scoring single and Roberto Rivera with an RBI groundout, extending the lead to 8-4.
Salem took a 4-2 lead with a two-run fourth inning, courtesy of Brian Anthony's third home run, a two-run shot to right off starter Jay Spurgeon.
Frederick tied the game on solo homers by Eddy Martinez in the fourth and Ivanon Coffie in the fifth.
WARTHOGS 6, CANNONS 3: Host Winston-Salem scored four runs in the seventh to take the lead and chase Potomac starter Otoniel Lanfranco (6-5). Billy Deck's three-run home run in the sixth inning accounted for all of Potomac's runs.