SALEM, VA – Salem Red Sox produced several clutch hits en route to an 8-6 win over the Carolina Mudcats on Saturday night at LewisGale Field. Of their eight runs, six scored on two-out hits from Red Sox’s hitters.
Salem (41-27) improved to 9-1 against the Mudcats (31-38), and clinched the weekend series with one to play.
Shawn Armstrong (0-3) took a heartbreaking loss for Carolina. Leading 6-5 in the seventh, Armstrong retired the first two batters on routine ground balls. But four straight hitters, with two strikes on them, punched singles through the infield. The two runs put Salem ahead to stay.
Charle Rosario (2-0) picked up the win after tossing two scoreless frames in relief. Michael Olmsted earned his Carolina League-leading 14th save.
The Mudcats scored first when Giovanny Urshela cracked a two-out homer off Miguel Celestino in the first.
Salem responded with four straight runs against Will Roberts. Singles by Sean Coyle and Heiker Meneses with two outs in the second inning put the Red Sox up 2-1. Travis Shaw launched a two-run blast to right field for a 4-1 lead.
Carolina retaliated with a four-spot in the fourth. With two out and two on, Ronny Rodriguez tripled off the left field wall to cut the deficit to one. A single by Anthony Gallas knotted the score 4-4. After walks to Jake Lowery and Justin Toole loaded the bases, a wild pitch from reliever Ruben Flores scored Gallas for a 5-4 lead.
Xander Bogaerts had a big night for Salem, coming through with four clutch hits. His third of the night tied the game 5-5 in the fifth with two out.
After an RBI fielder’s choice by Justin Toole put the Mudcats out front 6-5, Bogaerts and Michael Almanzar put the Sox ahead for good in the seventh. Shannon Wilkerson plated a run with a two-out knock against Jose Flores in the eighth to finish the scoring.