8-2 loss officially eliminates Mudcats from playoffs
ZEBULON - Behind a great outing by starter Mike McCarthy, the Salem Red Sox (21-37) beat the Carolina Mudcats (28-32) 8-2 on Friday night. The loss officially eliminates the Mudcats from playoff contention.
The Red Sox would score three in the first and never look back as they were able to jump all over Mudcat starter Will Roberts, who turned in one of his worst performances of the year as he struggled to keep the Sox of the bases. Roberts lasted only four innings, and gave up eight runs on 11 hits.
“Roberts had trouble with his command of his secondary pitches, so he had to rely on his fastball too much,” said Mudcats Manager Edwin Rodriguez.
The Mudcat bullpen would come in and settle things down as Jeff Johnson and Kyle Blair combined to throw five scoreless innings to end the night.
On the other side, however, McCarthy turned in a stellar outing as he tossed six innings giving up only one run, which was unearned, on four hits. “He was very good for them tonight. When you run into a pitcher that is pitching like that, it is hard to get anything going,” Rodriguez said.
The only bright spot for the Mudcat offense was DH Tyler Cannon, who drove in both runs as he went 2-for-4 on the night.
After retiring the first two batters to start off the game, Roberts would run into trouble as an infield single by third baseman Michael Almanazar and a walk to center fielder Brandon Jacobs started a two-out rally for the Sox. Left Fielder Drew Hedman would drive a liner into right to bring Almanzar in and move Jacobs up to third; Hedman on the throw from right to home was able to move up to second. This would pay off as second baseman Sean Coyle then singled to left to drive in both Jacobs and Hedman to give the Sox an early 3-0 lead.
The Mudcats looked to answer off McCarthy in the bottom of the inning as second baseman Tony Wolters and first baseman Justin Toole both reached to lead off the inning. After a fielder’s choice hit into by third baseman Giovanny Urshela, the Mudcats had runners on the corners with only one out. However shortstop Ronny Rodriguez couldn’t put the bat on the ball and McCarthy notched a big strikeout. McCarthy then got out of the jam as he induced a fly out by Cannon to end the inning.
The Red Sox would open up the game in the third. The team loaded the bases with no outs to start off the inning. Hedman then would come up and drive a sac fly to the warning track in left center. Because the ball was so deep, everyone was able to tag and move up. Coyle would then come up and drive a double off the center field wall to drive in two more runs to give him four RBI for the night night. Following a strikeout by catcher Carson Blair, first baseman David Renfroe would come through with a single to left to drive Coyle for the fourth run of the inning, giving the Sox a 7-0 lead.
The offense would continue into the fourth for the Red Sox as they were able to tack on another run. After a one-out double by DH Adalberto Ibarra and then a single by Almanzar to push Ibarra to third, Jacobs would come up and drive a ball to center, which was deep enough for Ibarra to tag and come home.
The Mudcats would finally push across a run in the sixth with the assist of an error. Toole got the inning started with a one-out double to right. Urshela would then pop up to second, but Coyle would drop the ball, which allowed Urshela to reach. Following a fly out by Rodriguez, Cannon would single to push across Toole to end the shutout attempt.
The Mudcats would tack on another run in the eighth off reliever Michael Gleason. After back-to-back one-out singles by Urshela and Rodriguez, Cannon would come through with his second RBI of the night as he drove a single to left to drive in Urshela to make the score 8-2.
The Mudcats will look to bounce back against the Sox on Saturday as they take the field at 6:15 for the second of the three game set.