FREDERICK -- The Frederick Keys closed their first homestand of the year last night the same way they opened it, easing the impact of what happened in between.
By salvaging the second game of a doubleheader, a 5-4 win over the Winston-Salem Warthogs, the Keys (2-5) won for the first time since opening night. The interim five-game losing streak resulted in the worst start in the Keys' seven-year history.
Winston-Salem (5-2) won the first game of the doubleheader, which resulted from a rainout Wednesday night, by a 3-1 score as right-handers Eddie Priest and Bob Jesperson combined on a three-hitter.
As they had done in the opener, the Warthogs scored two runs in the first inning of the second game. But left-hander Rachaad Stewart, who saw four of the first five batters he faced reach base, abruptly turned things around.
Stewart issued two walks and gave up a run-scoring double to Danny Clyburn and an RBI single to Dan Kopriva, but then allowed only two more hits, and no walks before departing with a 3-2 lead in the sixth inning.
He was deprived of the win, however, when reliever Hut Smith gave up a single to pinch hitter Johnny Bess and left fielder Todd Brown misjudged Steve Gann's long line drive that short-hopped the wall for a double, giving the visitors a 4-3 lead.
The Keys had to scrounge for their deciding two runs in the sixth. With one out, Jesse Garcia got an infield single and starter Todd Etler was replaced by Scott McKenzie. Tommy Davis walked and Chris Kirgan reached on first baseman Ray Brown's error to load the bases.
McKenzie promptly hit the next two batters, David Lamb and Chris Sauritch, forcing across the tying and winning runs. Smith then pitched a scoreless seventh to pick up his first save of the season.
In the opener, all of the scoring came in the first two innings. A two-run double by Robbie Robertson in the first and a bases-empty home run by Brian Wilson in the second provided all the offense Priest (2-0) needed.
Keys starter Matt Marenghi settled down after a rocky start, but suffered his second straight loss. He allowed four hits and three runs in five innings before Joe Dawley pitched two scoreless innings.
Frederick's lone run came in the first inning, when Garcia walked and scored on Jimmy Foster's two-out double.
After the second game, the Keys left for Durham, N.C., where they begin a seven-game road trip tonight.