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Dash deliver complete effort in win over Astros

Puckett logs quality start; Booker smacks three hits
After Friday's 3-for-5 effort, Joel Booker is hitting .361 in his last eight games. (Brian Westerholt/Four Seam Images)
August 25, 2017

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (Aug. 25, 2017) - Thanks to a solid start from A.J. Puckett and a four-run fifth by the Dash offense, during which the team sent nine men to the plate, Winston-Salem defeated the Buies Creek Astros 5-2 in Friday's series opener at BB&T Ballpark. Making his fourth outing as a

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (Aug. 25, 2017) - Thanks to a solid start from A.J. Puckett and a four-run fifth by the Dash offense, during which the team sent nine men to the plate, Winston-Salem defeated the Buies Creek Astros 5-2 in Friday's series opener at BB&T Ballpark. 
Making his fourth outing as a member of the Dash (28-33, 52-79), Puckett (10-7) recorded his first victory and second quality start as a White Sox farmhand, tossing six innings while allowing two runs on nine hits and striking out three. Puckett, who is now 1-0 with a 5.49 ERA for Winston-Salem, was traded to Chicago on July 30 from Kansas City in a deal for big league outfielder Melky Cabrera

Trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the deciding frame, the Dash offense seized control of the game against Astros starter Matt Bower (5-6). Joel Booker, who registered three hits on the night, started the inning with a double down the left field line, and Toby Thomas laid down a bunt single right back to the mound. On the play, Bower made an errant throw to first that trickled into right field, allowing Booker to come around to score the tying run.
Seby Zavala followed with a walk, and, after a wild pitch put runners on second and third, the Astros (34-26, 71-59) decided to intentionally walk Matt Rose to load the bases for Jameson Fisher. On a 3-1 pitch, Fisher laced a two-run, ground-rule double down the right field line to chase Bower from the game. Kevin Hill replaced the left-hander and allowed the final run to score on a wild pitch with Daniel Gonzalez at the plate, bringing home Rose to make it a 5-2 contest.
Following Puckett's strong outing, Zach Thompson tossed two perfect innings out of the bullpen, during which he struck out two. Meanwhile, Ryan Burr, who was acquired by the South Siders from Arizona for international signing bonus pool money on August 11, yielded just one hit in a scoreless ninth to pick up his first save with Winston-Salem. 
With the victory, the Dash's elimination number remains at three, which means any combination of Buies Creek wins and Winston-Salem losses adding up to three would eliminate the club from postseason contention. The Dash are 6.5 games back in the Carolina League's second-half Southern Division standings with nine games left.
Winston-Salem dented the scoreboard first by tallying a run in the third. Booker kickstarted the effort with a one-out single, and Thomas followed with a walk to put runners on first and second. Two batters later, Rose poked an RBI single into right to give the Dash a 1-0 edge.
However, Buies Creek responded in the fourth to take a short-lived lead with a pair of run-scoring hits with two outs. With a runner on second, Jake Rogers drilled an RBI double to tie the game at one. Later in the frame, Carmen Benedetti put the Astros ahead 2-1 on an RBI single to center before Winston-Salem ultimately decided the game in the fifth. 
#YourHomeTeam continues its three-game set against Buies Creek at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday. Winston-Salem sends right-hander Kelvis Valerio (3-5, 5.55 ERA) to the bump against Astros righty Jorge Alcala (4-5, 3.58 ERA). Pregame coverage begins at 6:15 p.m., and fans can catch all of the action on, and the TuneIn Radio App. 
The Dash's second-to-last home contest of the year also marks the final Chick-fil-A Four Pack Night. For as low as $32, fans can receive four tickets, along with four Dash hats and four chicken sandwich vouchers redeemable at the Chick-fil-A at Thruway Shopping Center. This deal must be purchased in advance, and you can do so by calling (336) 714-2287. 
Meanwhile, the Dash and FOX are partnering for FOX Fall Fanfest, which will feature an incredible night filled with special giveaways, previews of the station's new fall television lineup and more. The fun gets underway as soon as the gates open, which will be at 5:15 p.m., with a special tailgate party at the Foothills Brew Pen. All guests who purchase a drink in the Brew Pen before first pitch will receive a free Dash hat and special FOX memorabilia, while supplies last. 
Throughout the game, fans will enjoy sneak previews of three new shows debuting on FOX this fall - The GiftedGhosted and The Orville. Following the conclusion of the game, three containers will be placed in the outfield as a helicopter loaded with tennis balls will hover above the diamond. The helicopter will drop the tennis balls directly above the three containers, one representing each show. Whichever container accumulates the most tennis balls will earn each fan in those sections ticket vouchers to the Dash's 2018 Opening Day game. 
Additionally, one fan will be selected from that group to win the grand prize, a 16-person suite for any 2018 home game (excluding July 4). All fans who stick around for the postgame attraction will also have a chance to take home a special offer, even if their show does not win. For tickets, which start as low as $8, call the Dash at (336) 714-2287 or visit