Salem Clipped 4-3 by Carolina Saturday
SALEM, VA - The Salem Red Sox got the tying and winning runs on base with nobody out in the bottom of the ninth Friday night, but saw their hopes ebb away as they fell 4-3 to the Carolina Mudcats at Haley Toyota Field.
The Sox (22-25, 54-61) led until the sixth inning and never recovered, stranding 10 runners on base in the ballgame. Carolina (22-24, 56-60) used opportunistic base running and timely hitting to surpass the Sox and take the win.
Salem opened the scoring in the bottom of the second against Carolina starting pitcher Devin Williams, who walked Josh Tobias and Michael Osinski with one out before Victor Acosta singled to load the bases. Jagger Rusconi laced a single through the right side to plate Tobias, keeping the bases loaded. Nick Sciortino fanned and Chris Madera bounced out, ending the inning with Salem ahead 1-0.
The Sox tacked on another run in the bottom of the third. C.J. Chatham singled with one out, and Jerry Downs earned a walk to put runners at first and second. Tobias lined a single through the left side to plate Chatham and run the lead to 2-0. Acosta drew a walk with two out to load the bases, but new reliever Cody Beckman fanned Rusconi to end the inning.
Carolina surged ahead in the top of the sixth against Salem starter Denyi Reyes (L, 1-1), who had cruised through the first five frames. However, he gave up consecutive singles to Robie Rojas and Trever Morrison to open the inning, and walked Devin Hairston to load the bases. Dallas Carroll singled to left, plating Rojas and keeping the sacks full. New reliever Joan Martinez (BS, 2) gave up a sacrifice fly to Demi Orimoloye, with Hairston advancing to third base on the play. On a double steal attempt, Hairston raced home just before Carroll was tagged out, giving Carolina a 3-2 lead.
The Mudcats earned an insurance run in the top of the seventh inning. Ryan Aguilar led off with a double to left, but Martinez recovered to strike out Rob Henry looking and induced a fly out to center by Nick Roscetti. Rojas singled to left, scoring Aguilar and extending the advantage to 4-2.
The Sox edged closer in the bottom of the seventh against reliever Alec Kenilvort (H, 6), as Brett Netzer led off the frame with a double to the gap in left-center. Chatham grounded out on a slow roller to Morrison at shortstop, allowing Netzer to zip to third. Downs hit a hard groundout to second, and Netzer scooted home to trim the lead to 4-3.
In the bottom of the ninth, Salem nearly staged a thrilling comeback. Pinch hitter Tyler Hill cracked a leadoff double to left off new reliever Luke Barker (S, 17), and Chris Madera advanced Hill to third on a bunt single. Barker was unfazed, though, recovering to fan Netzer, Chatham and Downs in order to end the game.
Reyes surrendered three runs on six hits and a walk in five innings of action, working into the sixth inning; he fanned five. Martinez allowed one run on three hits in three innings, recording three strikeouts. Yankory Pimentel pitched a perfect frame of relief for the Sox in the ninth.
The Sox will look to keep their bats booming Sunday afternoon, with righty Denyi Reyes toeing the slab for Salem against Carolina right-hander Devin Williams. First pitch from Haley Toyota Field is scheduled for 4:05 p.m., and the pregame show with Ben Gellman and Suzie Cool begins at 5:45 p.m. on the Red Sox broadcast network.
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