Red Sox hold onto early lead, beat Mudcats 4-3
SALEM, VA – With a first half crown hanging in the balance, the Salem Red Sox scored four early runs, and held on for a 4-3 win over the Carolina Mudcats on Thursday night at Salem Memorial Ballpark.
Carolina drops to 31-36 with the setback.
Matt Barnes (5-1) once again shined for the Red Sox (39-27) who move to within two games of Winston-Salem for first place in the Southern Division. Barnes fanned nine hitters over five innings. The right-hander allowed one run on two hits.
Francisco Jimenez (5-5) took his third straight losing decision, allowing four runs on six hits in five innings of work. The Mudcats’ bullpen tossed a one-hit shutout over the final three frames to keep their team in it.
Heiker Meneses helped the Sox jump out to an early lead by driving in a pair of runs on two hits. Christian Vazquez doubled home one run, and a ground ball from Jackie Bradley Jr. provided the fourth.
After no-hitting the Mudcats through four innings, Barnes allowed a double to Jesus Aguilar off the left field wall. He scored on a single to center by newly acquired Bo Greenwell.
While Kyle Petter and Tyler Sturdevant held Salem scoreless, the Mudcats offense attempted one last surge in the eighth inning. Anthony Gallas and Tyler Holt reached on back-to-back singles. An error by Sean Coyle at second base on a ground ball from Tony Wolters allowed Gallas to score.
Holt shifted to third on a double play grounder to second. With two away, Tice slowly rolled a pitch to third. Michael Almanzar misplaced the roller, and Holt scored on the error to cut the deficit to one.
Andrew Jones settled things down in the ninth to notch his first save for the Sox.
The Mudcats continue their series at Salem on Friday night. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. ET.