Red Sox sweep the Mudcats
SALEM - The Salem Red Sox completed a series sweep of the struggling Carolina Mudcats with an 8-3 victory on Sunday afternoon at LewisGale Field in Salem, Virginia.
Red Sox starting pitcher Keith Couch earned his third win of the year while Mudcats’ starter Michael Goodnight notched his first in the loss column. Couch lasted into the seventh inning and was pulled with the bases loaded after he struck out Mudcats’ right fielder Carlos Moncrief.
Replacing Couch in the seventh was Red Sox reliever Andrew Jones who inherited three base runners and had to try to maintain the 8-0 Salem shutout. Mudcats’ second baseman Justin Toole broke the scoring drought when Red Sox third baseman Michael Almanzar made a fielding error that allowed Urshela to bring in Carolina’s first run of the game.
With the bases loaded once again, Jones faced Mudcats’ catcher Dwight Childs who hit a groundball to the shortstop that scored Aguilar from third making the score 8-2 Red Sox. Unfortunately, Mudcats’ left fielder Delvi Cid was not able to bring in any more runs when Jones got him to groundout to third to end the inning.
Following a scoreless eighth inning by both teams, Salem still held a commanding 8-2 advantage heading into the top of the ninth inning. Jones retired the Mudcats in order in the bottom of the eighth, but Salem opted for closer Ruben Flores to finish out the game.
The first batter Flores faced, Aguilar, made the Red Sox pay by launching his second home run of the season over the left field wall. However, with an 8-3 lead, Salem was still in control of the game and Carolina was down to their final three outs.
Unfazed by the home run, Flores proceeded to retire the next three batters in a row to close out the game and complete a series sweep of the road weary Mudcats.
With the loss Carolina drops to 10-12 on the season and falls four games behind their in-state rivals, the surging Winston-Salem Dash. Winston-Salem holds sole possession of first place in the Carolina League with a record of 14-8.
Carolina will continue their road trip in Virginia when they visit the Lynchburg Hillcats for a four game series set to begin on Monday night at 6:05 p.m.