Karexon Sanchez blasted a homer and drove in two runs to push the K-Tribe to a 5-1 win in their rubber game against Winston-Salem on Wednesday afternoon at Historic Grainger Stadium. Sanchez went 3-for-5, coming up a triple short of the cycle.
Kinston got on the board in the first inning against Winston-Salem starter Dylan Axelrod. Karexon Sanchez smoked a double to right field and scored on an RBI single by Chun Chen to make it 1-0. It was the first time in the series that the K-Tribe took the first lead of the game. The K-Tribe added on more in the second inning. Juan Diaz led off the frame with an infield hit and Donnie Webb followed with a single to right. The next batter, Doug Pickens, lifted a fly ball down the right field line that dropped just fair, allowing Diaz to score. Two batters later, Sanchez beat out a grounder to third to score Webb and give the Indians a 3-0 edge. Sanchez continued his hot day in the fourth inning, when he lined a home run to right center field. It was his team-leading ninth of the season, and gave him a team-best 39 RBI. Sanchez has four RBI and four runs scored in the last two games.The Indians put together a big start to the fifth inning but came away with just a run. Chen doubled and Kyle Bellows singled before Juan Diaz delivered an RBI single to right. However, Dash reliever Jake Rasner came on to get the final two outs and keep the K-Tribe's lead at 5-0.
Kinston starter Austin Adams (2-0) pitched five shutout innings on two hits for the win. He walked one and struck out two before giving way to Marty Popham. The Dash got on the board in the eighth inning off of Popham. Jon Gilmore reached on an error by Ronald Rivas and moved to second on a wild pitch. Seth Loman's RBI single cut the Indians lead to 5-1. Axelrod (5-2) struggled in the loss, giving up five runs on 12 hits, no walks and four strikeouts. Popham picked up his thrid save of the season, giving up four hits and an unearned run in four innings.
The K-Tribe win ended a three series losing streak. Kinston has beaten Winston-Salem in both of their rubber games this season. The Northern Division-leading Wilmington Blue Rocks come to town on Thursday to start a four game series. Thursday's game will be a 7 pm start, and lefty T.J. McFarland (9-2, 2.45) will take the mound for the K-Tribe.