Mudcats split doubleheader with Salem
ZEBULON - Following a rain out on Monday the Carolina Mudcats (19-16) and Salem Red Sox (19-14) split a doubleheader Tuesday.
In the first game the ineffectiveness of Mudcat starter Mike Rayl proved to be too much to overcome for the Mudcats as they fell 8-6. Rayl only lasted two and two third innings and in that time he gave up seven runs (six earned) on six hits. Jordan Cooper came out of the bullpen and righted the ship pitching arguably his best outing of the year going four and one third innings giving up only one unearned run.
“It’s one of those days, he wasn’t able to throw his breaking ball for strikes and he had to rely to much on his fastball. [Red Sox] are leading the league in hitting and you have to throw strikes and get ahead and that’s what hurt Mike” said manager Edwin Rodriguez.
The Mudcats took the second game of the double header 4-1 behind the help of Jeremie Tice’s two run home run in the third inning, along with great pitching from a collective effort from the bullpen. The bullpen combined for eight and one third innings of work between the two games only giving up one unearned run in the first game. JD Reichenbach and Jose Flores combined to pitch four scoreless innings of relief in the second game as Reichenbach got the win. Dale Dickerson got the start for the Mudcats in the second game and pitched three innings giving up one run.
“The bullpen pretty much the whole season has been doing a great job and today was no different. [Reichenbach] came in the first game and did a good job and then in the second game it was the bullpen that got the win so they did a great job,” said Rodriguez.
The Red Sox came out of the gates swinging and had seven runs on the board by the end of the third in the first game. Center Fielder Jackie Bradley Jr led off the game with a double to left center, a sign of things to come for Mudcat starter Mike Rayl. The next batter second baseman Sean Coyle drilled a homer to left field to give the Red Sox an early 2-0 lead.
The Mudcats tied it up at two in the second inning with help from a solo shot by Jeremie Tice and then an RBI single by Anthony Gallas that drove in Jake Lowery from second.
The Red Sox put the game out of reach in the third as they pushed across five runs in the inning. With the help of two walks and a hit batter the Red Sox loaded up the bases. Then two out hits by third baseman Michael Almanzar, right fielder Shannon Wilkerson and catcher Adalberto Ibarra along with an errant throw by Mudcat catcher Jake Lowery on a stolen base attempt allowed the Red Sox to blow the game open.
The Red Sox took on another in the fifth as Almanzar was able to get to second on an error by third baseman Tyler Cannon and then score on a double by Wilkerson.
The Mudcats attempted to comeback in the fifth as they put up four runs. Shortstop Tony Wolters doubled home both Tyler Cannon and Tyler Holt after both had reached on infield singles. The double by Wolters resulted in a pitching change as the Sox brought in Marco Duarte to replace starter Miguel Celestino. Right Fielder Carlos Moncrief would greet Duarte rudely as he would hit an opposite field homer over the left field wall cutting the deficit at the end of the fifth to 8-6.
Celestino didn’t fair to much better than Rayl as he gave up five runs on six hits over four innings.
The Mudcats were unable to get anything else going in the final two innings of the game as Duarte pitched a scoreless sixth and then Michael Olmsted closed the game out in the seventh.
In the second game Jackie Bradley led off the game with a hit, this time a triple to left. Dickerson was almost able to wiggle his way around the triple as he induced a pop out in shallow left field by Sean Coyle and then struck out Travis Shaw. However Michael Almanzar hit a bouncing ball just over Dickson and with Almanzar getting down the line quick shortstop Tony Wolters tried to bare hand the ball but was unable to get control of it allowing Almanzar to reach on an infield single and bringing home Bradley. This would turn out however to be the only run the Mudcats would surrender in the game.
Dickerson got himself into trouble in the second as he walked back to back batters with two outs. After inducing a fly out by Christian Vazquez and then a strikeout by Shannon Wilkerson, Dickerson would walk first baseman Drew Hedman and then shortstop James Kang. Dickerson would get out of the inning though as he got Matty Johnson to groundout to second to end the inning.
The Mudcats were unable to take advantage of an error by Kang in the bottom of the second. With one out Tyler Cannon reached on an overthrow by Kang that went over the head of Hedman at first. Second baseman Ronny Rodriguez drew a walk giving the Mudcats their first scoring opportunity. Catcher Dwight Childs struck out and then left fielder Delvi Cid flew out to left to end the threat.
The Mudcats would be able to benefit from a two out walk in the third. Carlos Moncrief would draw the walk from Red Sox starter Brandon Workman. With Aguilar at bat Moncrief stole second, which would allow him to score when Aguilar lined a single to right to tie the game. The Mudcats weren’t done though as Jeremie Tice drove another homerun his second of the day to put the Mudcats up 3-1 after three. “He’s swinging good, taking good at bats even when he’s making outs and he’s got a lot of power” said Rodriguez.
Rodriguez and Childs were stranded at second and third in the fourth by the Mudcats. After back to back singles by Rodriguez and Childs to lead off the inning, Cid laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners. However with one out Holt struck out leaving it up to Wolters to come up with a two out hit. Wolters faced have to face Keith Couch as the Red Sox brought him in out of the bullpen. Wolters would drive a ball to deep right field but Wilkerson would make a leaping catch against the wall to rob Wolters of extra bases and the Mudcats of two runs.
Workman would go three and two third innings giving up three runs on five hits.
Jeremiah Bayer was brought in for the sixth inning by the Red Sox and the Mudcats pushed across a run against him albeit an unearned run. Rodriguez reached on a one out single to left. Following the single Childs hit a grounder down the third base line, Almanzar had to make an off balanced throw from foul territory to have any chance to get Childs at first. The throw however was wild and would go into the Red Sox bullpen which is in play. Rodriguez motoring around from first was able to score on the play as Childs moved into second. The Mudcats would take a 4-1 lead after six and Jose Flores would come in and close the door on the Red Sox in the seventh.
The Mudcats and Red Sox will face off again at 7:15 Wednesday at Five County Stadium.