Mudcats hold early lead, win 5-1
ZEBULON - The Carolina Mudcats (28-31) opened up there series with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (30-29) with an impressive 5-1 win pushing their winning streak to three games.
Behind second baseman Tony Wolters' 2-for-4 and two RBI night, the Mudcats scored early on Pelican starter Randy Henry who was making his first professional start as he has been the Pelican closer for the majority of the year. Henry would only last two innings as he gave up four runs on six hits. The Mudcats scored the first runs of the game in the second when they pushed across four runs. Mudcat starter Danny Salazar would surrender the only run of the game in the third on a two out wild pitch that allowed Pelican second baseman Edwin Garcia to score.
The story of the night was the Pelicans inability to take advantage of its base runners as they left nine men on base and went 0-8 with runners in scoring position. The Pelicans collected eight hits off Mudcat pitching but all the hits were singles and the Mudcat pitchers seemed to bare down with runners on base.
Kyle Blair came in for Salazar in fourth and pitched a scoreless five innings of relief.
“Kyle Blair did what he’s been doing all year," manager Edwin Rodriguez said. "Sometimes he gets behind in counts like tonight but he finds a way to get out of trouble. [And Salazar] has been doing a good job, he’s building up and in probably two more outings he’ll be up to five innings."
The Mudcats cracked the scoreboard first as they put up four runs in the bottom of the second with the help of three straight hits to lead off the inning. Designated hitter Anthony Gallas got the inning started with single up the middle. Gallas scored when shortstop Ronny Rodriguez lined a double down the left field line, and Rodriguez moved to third on the throw home. Cannon singled Rodriguez home, and then following a strikeout by left fielder Delvi Cid back to back hits by center fielder Tyler Holt and second baseman Tony Wolters scored two more.
Second baseman Edwin Garcia led off the third inning with a single to left. Following a fly out by right fielder Josh Richmond, shortstop Odubel Herrera singled to center moving Garcia to second. Martinez would then ground into a fielders choice as Herrera was forced out at second as Garcia moved to third. With Hoying batting, Salzar bounced a ball to home that got away from Cannon allowing Garcia to score. Hoying would then pop out to end the inning.
Right fielder Carlos Moncrief got the run right back for the Mudcats as he led off the bottom of the third with a towering homerun over the center field wall putting the lead at 5-1. The homerun came off reliever Jose Monegro who had come in to replace Henry.
Monegro did not allow the Mudcats to get anything else going for the remainder of his outing. After Moncrief's home run Monegro turned in an impressive outing retiring 15 of 16 batters including the last 13 batters he faced.
The Pelicans put together their best threat in the fifth off Blair as they had a second and third situation with two outs. Herrera lined a one out single to right and then a two out single by Hoying kept the inning alive. A wild pitch by Blair allowed the runners to move up putting two runners in scoring position for DiFazio. However Blair was able to strike out Difazio to end the inning.
The Mudcats will look to increase their win total to a season high four and then possibly five as they take on the Pelicans in a double header Saturday at 5:15 at Five County Stadium.