Keys pull out 4-3 win over Mudcats
The Carolina Mudcats ended a four-game series with the Frederick Keys with a 4-3 loss Thursday night at Five County Stadium. The loss was the second in the series for Carolina, and their fifth in the second half.
“After a tough road trip at Potomac, it’s good to get back home and get a couple wins in this series,” manager David Wallace. said “The guys are definitely showing signs of improvement, especially in our bullpen.”
Right-hander Michael Peoples started for the Mudcats and took his fourth loss. He allowed four runs on eight hits and struck out two in four innings. Left-hander Tim Berry (6-4) pitched 6.2 innings for Frederick and allowed five hits and one earned run. Right-handed reliever Miguel Chalas allowed five hits in 2.1 innings for his first save.
A walk and a throwing error from Peoples put Frederick in position in the top of the first, and a single from infielder Nicky Delmonico gave the Keys the first run of the game.
Carolina allowed eight batters to the plate and three runs in the top of third inning with singles from Delmonico and catcher Michael Ohlman. A double from infielder Christian Walker scored Delmonico and brought the score to 2-0, Keys. Ohlman nearly made it home despite a base running error, but tagged out before reaching the plate. A drive to third from catcher Allan de San Miguel popped off third baseman Paddy Matera’s for the second Carolina error of the game to score Walker. Another Mudcats error allowed Miguel to reach and bring the score to 3-0.
The Mudcats began the bottom of the third with a double to left field from Matera. Catcher Tony Wolters hit a bump to the pitcher’s mound and a throwing error from Berry sailed past first and put two Mudcats on base. A wild throw from Sammie Starr on first gave the Keys’ their second error and scored Matera.
No players from either team made it on base in the fourth inning. Francisco Valera entered in the top of the fifth to relieve Peoples and allowed base hits from Walker and Miguel. A double play kept Miguel and outfielder Glynn Davis from advancing and a popup to the warning track from outfielder Brenden Webb ended the top of the inning with Walker stranded on third.
Right-handed Valera retired consecutive batters in the top of the fifth and sixth innings to keep the Keys from advancing offensively. Carolina ended the seventh inning with bases loaded after two walks and a single from Wolters. Center fielder Tyler Naquin is the only Mudcat to have hit a grand slam this season, but he grounded to first to end the inning without Carolina reaching home.
According to Wallace, Carolina didn’t challenge the Keys bullpen enough.
“I though we could have made some earlier adjustments to their starting pitcher,” he said. “We gave them a lot of credit and kept getting ahead in the count when we could have been a little bit more aggressive.”
Valera again kept any Keys from advancing in the top of the eighth. Shortstop Francisco Lindor began the bottom of the eighth with a double off the wall. Second baseman Joe Wendle followed with another double to left center to score Lindor and bring the Carolina deficit to one run.
Rob Nixon entered for Valera in the top of the ninth. The Mudcats got within a tying run in the bottom of the ninth with a homerun from Wolters with one out. Wendle grounded out to end the game with left fielder Bryson Myles and Lindor stranded on the corners.
The Mudcats begin a series at Salem Friday night. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.