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Carolina completes sweep of Salem Red Sox

salem red soxThe Salem Red Sox were swept in a series for the first time this season as they fell to the Carolina Mudcats, 5-2 Thursday night at Five County Stadium.

The Red Sox (50-33, 7-6) struggled early against Mudcats (35-50, 6-9) starter Ryan Clark, but in the fifth inning the offense was able to break through thanks to back-to-back singles from Jordan Procyshen and Bryan Hudson to lead off the inning. After a sacrifice bunt from Deiner Lopez, a Joseph Monge infield single brought home Procyshen with the game’s first run. Jose Sermo then lifted a sacrifice fly off Clark (1-10) to right field to plate Hudson and lift Salem to a 2-0 lead.

Michael Kopech made his Salem debut on the mound, and after walking the first two batters of the night, settled in to dominate the Mudcats. In 4.0 shutout innings, the righty allowed only one hit while walking three and striking out six.

The highlight of the night for Kopech was an immaculate inning in the fourth, where he stuck out the side on nine pitches. The final pitch of the inning was a 101 mph fastball at the knees of Sal Giardina for a called third strike.

In the fifth, Yankory Pimentel (6-4) entered the game and promptly walked the leadoff man Jose Fernandez. He would score two batters later when Joseph Daris tripled to right and scored on a throwing error from Mike Meyers to tie the game at two.

Carolina took the lead in the bottom of the sixth when Isaias Tejeda walloped his second home run in as many days – a solo shot – over the video board in left field to give the Mudcats a 3-2 lead. Pimentel surrendered an additional tally in the bottom of the seventh after another leadoff walk – this time to Joseph Daris – came around to score on a Luis Valenzuela sacrifice fly to run the score to 4-2.

Jamie Callahan allowed an RBI double to Daris in the bottom of the eighth inning after yet another leadoff walk to let Carolina expand their advantage to 5-2. The Salem pitching staff issued 11 walks in the game, and a total of 29 walks in the four games in the series.

Sean McLaughlin tossed a 1-2-3 ninth inning to earn his fourth save of the season.

The Red Sox finish off the season-long 10-game road trip with an abbreviated two-game set at the Lynchburg Hillcats beginning Friday night at Calvin Falwell Field. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 pm. Salem will send Matt Kent (7-3, 2.98) to the mound in the series opener, while Lynchburg counters with Sean Brady (7-3, 4.68). Follow along with all the action on the Salem Red Sox Baseball Network, with pregame coverage beginning at 6:15 pm.