Myrtle Beach - Ryan Dent jacked a grand slam, three different Red Sox hitters drew three walks apiece, and Brian Johnson tossed five quality innings to help the Salem Sox crush Myrtle Beach 10-3 in the season opener. Salem fell one walk shy of a franchise record, taking 13 free passes over the course of the night. The Pelicans outhit the Sox 10-7, but still got blown out.
Carson Blair's RBI triple in the first inning broke the scoring seal for the Sox, who scored one in the first, two in the second, then broke the game wide open with six runs in the third, including Dent's grand slam. When Dent's towering round-tripper soared beyond the left-field fence, the Sox were ahead 9-1 and rolling toward a win.
Johnson surrendered an unearned run in the first, but then cruised through his next three innings, retiring 12 of 14 batters at one point. He piled up seven strikeouts over five frames, walking a pair and permitting his only earned run in the fifth.
Dent led the offense with two hits and five RBI in his first Carolina League action since 2010. Roof and Blair each reached base four times near the top of the lineup, and every Red Sox hitter reached base at least once via a hit or a walk.
Considering that Salem closed the 2013 campaign with 11 straight wins and a Mills Cup Championship, the Red Sox have now won each of the last 12 games they've played, dating back to August 28, 2013. The longest winning streak in Salem history is 14, set in the 2006 regular season as a Rockies affiliate.
The Sox aim for a 13th straight win Friday night in the second game of the four-game series with Myrtle Beach. William Cuevas, the winning pitcher in September's Mills' Cup clincher, will get the ball for the Sox opposite 2012 Carolina League All-Star Cody Buckel. First pitch is lined up for 7:05 in Myrtle Beach.