Carolina Mudcats slip past Salem Red Sox, 3-2
Carolina struck first in the bottom of the first inning. Connor Lien was hit by a pitch with one out and Dustin Peterson followed with a single. Jacob Schrader then singled up the middle, scoring Lien to put the Mudcats on top 1-0.
Salem struck back for a pair in the top of the third. Jordan Procyshen singled to begin the frame and Deiner Lopez struck a single in the next at bat. With one out, Wendell Rijo blasted a double to right, scoring Procyshen from second and advancing Lopez to third. Cole Sturgeon then poked a groundout to second and Lopez sprinted home, giving the Red Sox a 2-1 lead.
The lead was short-lived, however, as Dustin Peterson clobbered a solo shot deep over the left field wall, tying the game at three in the bottom half of the frame. In the fifth, Reed Harper lined a double to the gap in right-center and later scored on a two-out single from Lien, granting the Mudcats a 3-2 advantage.
McGrath (1-6) equaled his season-high with six innings pitched, allowing three runs on five hits with three strikeouts for his third quality start of the year. The southpaw did not walk a batter for the second time in 2015.
Brandon Barker (8-3) picked up the win for Carolina with six innings pitched. He let in two runs on five hits with a walk and three strikeouts. Justin Jackson earned his third save with two shutout innings featuring three strikeouts.
Rijo and Sturgeon were both 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI, Procyshen went 1-for-3 with a run scored and Lopez scored a run while going 2-for-4. The Sox fourth straight losses sent their record to 55-65 and 17-33 in the second half. The Mudcats improved to 62-58 and 28-23 in the half.
Salem and Carolina continue the three-game series on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. Ty Buttrey (7-7, 3.33) is scheduled to start for the Sox against Yean Carlos Gil (1-9, 6.39) for the Mudcats. Fans can listen to the game on 1240 AM ESPN Roanoke, online at salemsox.com or via the TuneIn Radio app.