Mudcats Edge Red Sox 4-3 in Salem
SALEM, VA - Robie Rojas went 2-for-3 with a run and RBI, Nathan Kirby pitched through three scoreless while earning the win, Luke Barker earned his league leading 17th save and the Mudcats erased a two-run deficit in the sixth while defeating the Red Sox 4-3 in Salem on Saturday night.
Carolina (22-24, 56-60) fell behind early as the Red Sox (22-25, 54-61) rallied for a run in the second and third innings while taking a 2-0 lead on starter Devin Williams. That 2-0 lead held through the fifth, but then disappeared as the Mudcats scored three times in the sixth to take their first lead of the game.
Rojas started the Carolina sixth with a single off Salem starter Denyi Reyes and Trever Morrison kept the rally going by ripping a single of his own to center to put two men on ahead of Devin Hairston. Reyes (1-1, 2.53) went on to walk Hairston to load the bases and Dallas Carroll then drove in Carolina's first run with a run scoring single to center.
Reyes left the game following Carroll's run scoring hit and reliever Joan Martinez would go on to work through the rest of the frame. Demi Orimoloye greeted Martinez with a sacrifice fly to right to tie the game and an attempted double steal later in the frame would end up giving Carolina their 3-2 lead as Hairston scored from third while the Red Sox caught Carroll attempting to take second to end the inning.
The Mudcats had their first lead of the game at 3-2 after getting three across on Reyes and Martinez in the sixth. That lead, however, quickly increased to 4-2 in the seventh when Ryan Aguilar doubled and scored on a two-out RBI hit from Rojas.
Aguilar went 1-for-4 in the game with a double and a run scored, Carroll went 2-for-4 with a RBI, but it was Rojas who led the way as he went 2-for-3 with a run a RBI. His single to start the Carolina sixth sparked his club's three run frame and his RBI knock in the seventh proved to be the game winner as the Red Sox rallied for one last run in the game against reliever Alec Kenilvort in their half of the seventh.
Kenilvort allowed just the one run over two innings and ended up earning his sixth hold as held the 4-3 Carolina lead through the eighth. He entered the game in place of Kirby (3-5, 5.13) who had worked through the previous three frames without allowing a run. He also struck out three, allowed one hit and faced only 11 batters over his victorious appearance.
Barker then came on for the ninth and ended up earning his league leading 17th save of the season, but did so after allowing back-to-back hits to start the final inning. He allowed a leadoff double to pinch-hitter Tyler Hill and then a bunt hit to Chris Madera and had to work around a first and third jam to start the ninth. Barker followed all of that up with three straight strikeouts and left both runners on as he closed down the game for Carolina.
Williams started and began his outing with a scoreless first that included two strikeouts and lasted just 11 pitches. He then, however, went on to walk two and allow two runs in the both the second and third before leaving the game after two and 2/3 innings.
Reliever Cody Beckman inherited a bases loaded jam from Williams when he came in for Carolina to finish the third. Beckman ended up facing just one batter and threw just three pitches while striking out Jagger Rusconi with the bases loaded to escape the inning without allowing a run.
The series, now tied at 1-1, will continue on Sunday afternoon with the first pitch scheduled for 4:05 p.m. in Salem. Carolina will send RHP Christian Taugner to the mound for the game three of four start in Salem. The start will be Taugner's first with Carolina since joining the Mudcats from Low-A Wisconsin.
The game will air on the Mudcats Radio Network, the Big Dawg 98.5 FM and via TuneIn Radio at carolinamudcats.com. It will also stream live via video on MiLB.tv.
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