Lamb dominates as Mudcats fall 6-0
Mudcats drop to 18-32 following shutout loss to Blue Rocks
ZEBULON, N.C.— John Lamb and the Wilmington Blue Rocks held the Carolina Mudcats scoreless in a 6-0 win at Five County Stadium Tuesday night.
Lamb (4-4) threw seven innings and allowed five hits and two walks. The Mudcats dropped to 18-32 and were shutout for the third time this season.
Wilmington took the early lead with a home run off the scoreboard from the first batter of the night, second baseman Justin Trapp. Right-fielder Lane Adams was the first to reach base with a ground ball to third. Back-to-back doubles from third baseman Cheslor Cuthbert and first baseman Jared Schlehuber scored Adams and Cuthbert and brought the score to 3-0, Wilmington.
Right-hander Francisco Valera made his Carolina debut after joining the team from Triple-A Columbus. He began the third inning by walking the first two batters to put Adams and Cuthbert on base with no outs. A stolen base, a wild pitch and a hard bouncer to third from Schlehuber brought Adams home to bring the score to 4-0.
Valera (0-1) took the loss for the Mudcats and gave up five hits and four runs, all earned, in three innings with four strikeouts.
“Francisco [Valera] kept us in the game,” said Carolina manager David Wallace. “We definitely had a chance until the end. For Francisco’s first outing—and not being a starter—he did an alright job.”
Fabio Martinez relieved Valera in the fourth inning. Martinez struggled in his first inning and allowed catcher Parker Morin to reach third on two walks and a wild pitch. A diving catch from infielder Joe Sever retired Adams and ended the inning with men on the corners.
Lamb limited the Mudcats to one hit and retired the first three batters in the first four innings. Wolters gave Carolina its first offensive momentum with a double to right field in the bottom of the fifth inning. He made it to third before a shallow pop-up from Sever ended the inning after four batters.
Martinez left the game with two innings pitched, zero hits, zero runs, four walks and one strikeout. Right-handerGrant Sides entered in the top of the sixth and retired the first three Blue Rocks batters to keep the game at 4-0, Wilmington.
The Mudcats started in the bottom of the sixth with hits from catcher Ryan Battaglia and Naquin. Wilmington answered with a double play in the infield, and a pop-up to center from Wendle ended the inning with Battaglia stranded on third and the Mudcats still scoreless.
Sides struck out his fourth batter in a row and retired the first three batters in the seventh inning.
Carolina’s pitchers made a strong showing in the loss, Wallace emphasized.
“It doesn’t feel like a loss because of the way he [Sides] and Fabio [Martinez] pitcher,” he said. “We saw a lot of encouraging signs and we walked off the field with our heads held high.”
The Mudcats struggled offensively as Lamb continued to keep Carolina scoreless in his last inning. Wolters got to second in the bottom of the seventh, but again was unable to make it home as Rodriguez, the only other Mudcat to make it to second base in seven innings, struck out to end the inning.
“We had a couple of opportunities where we just didn’t get that hit,” Wallace explained.
“We needed to get things rolling but they were able to keep the momentum on their side.”
Sides exited the game after two innings pitched, two walks and five strikeouts. Left-hander Francisco Jimenez served up a single to Cuthbert to begin the eighth inning. One walk and one out later, a groundball by Beltre up the first base line snuck past Battaglia to send Lopez and Cuthbert home and bring the score to 6-0.
Jimenez gave up a double and tossed a wild pitch past Wolters in the top of the ninth to get Adams to third, but a pop-up to deep right field silenced Wilmington’s offense for the night.
Carolina continues a four-game set against Wilmington Wednesday at Five County Stadium. The first pitch is set for 7:15 p.m.