Carolina Mudcats lose early lead, game to Salem Red Sox
SALEM, Va. – Despite holding an early lead, the Carolina Mudcats let the game slip away and fell to the Salem Red Sox, 5-3, Friday night.
The loss came just 24 hours after falling to the same Red Sox by 16 and giving up a club record 18 runs. It might have been closer this time out, but it counts for the same in the loss column, as Carolina fell to 16-15 on the season.
Right hander D.J. Brown took the mound for Carolina and had easily his worst start of the season. Brown gave up a season-high five runs, all earned, on six hits over five innings. The right hander struck out five compared to just one walk.
Designated hitter Jeremy Lucas led off the second inning with a single and advanced to second on a wild pitch. A single by left fielder Anthony Gallas put runners at the corners. First baseman Jerrud Sabourin grounded into a double play, but that was enough for Lucas to cross home plate to give the Mudcats the early lead.
After breezing through the first three innings, Brown ran into a brick wall in the fourth inning, surrendering three runs in the frame.
A leadoff single was the first runner of the ballgame for Salem. With one out, a second single put two runners on and a two-run double brought both of the runners in to score to give the Red Sox the lead. A groundout moved the runner to third base with an RBI single bringing him in to give Salem a two run lead after four.
Carolina cut into the new deficit in the top of the fifth inning.
Sabourin led off the inning with a single and came in to score on an RBI double by second baseman Torsten Boss. Boss advanced to third on a fielding error, but was thrown out at home on a grounder by third baseman James Roberts to end any threat of a big inning by the Mudcats.
Brown rebounded from a difficult inning to get three quick outs in the fifth and seemingly got back on track.
When Brown came out for the sixth, he seemed to have run out of gas. A leadoff single, followed by an RBI double was all the action he would see in the inning as he was relieved by right hander Benny Suarez.
With the runner on third base with no outs, a sacrifice fly brought him home for a 5-2 Salem lead.
Suarez finished the game, allowing only three runners to reach over the final three innings on an error, a hit batter and a walk.
Center fielder Logan Vick hit a solo home run, his first of the season, with one out in the eighth inning to cut the lead to two, which proved to be the final margin.
Carolina looks to rebound from a rough start to the series and keep from matching a season high three game losing streak Saturday against the Red Sox. The Mudcats send right hander Michael Peoples to the mound coming off his best start of the season.
Zachary is a senior at NC State where he is majoring in communication-media, with minors in journalism and theatre. You can follow him on Twitter @RealZachFrancis.