Red Sox Rout Mudcats 16-2 In A Rain-Soaked Affair
ZEBULON- The rubber match between the Carolina Mudcats (10-5) and Salem Red Sox (4-11) was delayed 41 minutes due to rain, but the Mudcats probably wish it had just been cancelled as they were walloped by the Red Sox 16-2.
“It was a bad game; the pitching, defense and offense were all bad. You’re going to have one of those once in a while when you play for five months and we’ve just happened to have two of those recently” said manager Edwin Rodriguez.
Francisco Jimenez took the mound for the Mudcats and struggled to keep the Red Sox batters off base. In four of the five innings Jimenez pitched the leadoff man was able to reach – including three doubles. This cost Jimenez to the tune of seven runs, six earned, over four and two thirds innings. The Mudcat bullpen didn’t fare any better against the Sox. Kyle Blair was the first to come out of the pen and was rocked for seven runs in just two innings, while Dale Dickerson came in to finish the game off by throwing two and a third innings, giving up two runs of his own.
The Red Sox were able to combine for seven extra base hits – six doubles and one home run – off of Mudcat pitching.
On the other side, Red Sox starter Manuel Rivera turned in an excellent outing, as he pitched five shutout innings while scattering three hits.
The Mudcat pitchers weren’t the only ones struggling, as the Mudcats combined for a season-high five errors in the game. Shortstop Ronny Rodriguez and right fielder Anthony Gallas both committed two errors while left fielder Delvi Cid had one.
If there was a bright spot to be found in the game, it was from second baseman Tony Wolters, who smacked a single in the first inning to extend his hitting streak to 11 games, the longest by any Mudcat player this year.
After working around a leadoff double in the first, Jimenez was unable to wiggle out of the same situation in the second. The Red Sox made Jimenez pay after shortstop Xander Bogaerts led off with a double to left. Salem loaded the bases, then scored Bogaerts on a fielder’s choice by left fielder Lucas LeBlanc.
Another leadoff hit in the fourth, this time a single followed by an error, allowed for the Red Sox to tack on another run. DH Brandon Jacobs singled to left to lead off the inning. It looked like Jimenez would be able to erase Jacobs from the base paths as he tried to pick him off at first, however Rodriguez dropped the relay throw from first baseman Jesus Aguilar, allowing Jacobs to slide in safe at second. Jacobs then moved up to third on an infield single by Bogaerts. Jimenez then got third baseman Michael Almanzar to ground into a double play, scoring Jacobs for the second Sox run of the night.
The Red Sox started to distance themselves from the Mudcats in the fifth. The third leadoff double Jimenez allowed culminated in a five run inning for the Red Sox, while also chasing Jimenez from the game. After the leadoff double by LeBlanc, the Red Sox came up with four more hits and – with the help of two throwing errors by right fielder Anthony Gallas –pushed across five runs.
Kyle Blair, who came in for Jimenez in the fifth, surrendered a run in the sixth as he allowed three straight men to reach with one out. After walking right fielder Matty Johnson with one out, back to back singles by second baseman Heiker Meneses and first baseman Travis Shaw allowed Johnson to come around to score the Red Sox’s eighth run.
Andrew Jones came in to relieve Rivera in the sixth and it was a welcome sight for the Mudcats bats as they were able to break through with a run to end the shutout attempt. Aguilar started the inning with a double to left and then had no trouble scoring as Gallas backed up the double with a single down the left field line.
The Red Sox came right back in the top of the seventh and exploded for six more runs. After striking out third baseman Michael Almanzar to begin the inning, the wheels fell off for Blair. He allowed two walks and four hits, the final hit being a two run shot by DH Brandon Jacobs off the top of the scoreboard in left. After that, the Mudcats turned to Dale Dickerson to finish off the game.
After going down 14-1, the Mudcats scored one run in the bottom of the seventh. Cid drove a one-out triple to left off Jones and scored on a sac fly by Rodriguez, who hit a ball deep to right.
Dickerson took his turn in being rocked by the Sox, as he gave up back-to-back doubles to Almanzar and catcher Christian Vazquez. Those led to two more runs for the Sox in the eighth, to push the lead to 16-2.
Rodriguez did put the last few games in perspective, saying that “overall it was a good homestand, we won four out of six, it was just an off night.” The Mudcats will look to get back on track as they hit the road to take on the Potomac Nationals on Sunday night at 6:35.