A three-hour rain delay couldn’t keep the Single-A Frederick Keys from winning last night and the six-hour overnight bus ride to North Carolina that followed didn’t stop them tonight.
Manny Machdo drove in the go-ahead run as Frederick won 7-3 at Kinston’s Grainger Stadium tonight to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five Carolina League championship series. The Keys are now one win from their fourth Mills Cup championship and have two chances to get it.
Kinston took a 2-0 lead, scoring twice in the second inning, but Frederick took the lead with a three-run fifth.
In that inning, Bobby Stevens had an RBI double and Jonathan Schoop an RBI single. Machado’s RBI double broke the 2-2 tie and put Frederick ahead.
The Keys added insurance runs later in the game as Glynn Davis scored on a wild pitch in the seventh and Stevens brought home a run with a suicide squeeze bunt single an inning later. The Keys scored twice more in the ninth.
Machado drove in two runs in the game and is now batting .357 in the playoffs. Schoop went 3-for-5 and is hitting .300 in the post-season.
Frederick starting pitcher Scott Copeland gave up just three hits and two runs over five innings to gain the win. In two playoff starts, he is now 2-0 with an ERA of 2.25.
In Game 4 on Friday night at Kinston, Ryohei Tanaka pitches for Frederick against Kinston lefty Francisco Jimenez. In his first playoff start against Potomac, Tanaka pitched six shutout innings of two-hit ball.
If Kinston wins on Friday, the Indians would host the fifth and deciding game Saturday night.
In addition to tonight’s good news on the field, the Frederick city Board of Aldermen this evening formally approved by vote the Keys new 10-year lease at Harry Grove Stadium. It guarantees that the Keys, who have been in Frederick as an Orioles affiliate since 1989, will stay in Frederick at least through the 2021 season.
Tonight’s move was expected and was reported here at MASNsports.com earlier this week.