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Carolina scores 10 in eighth to stun Salem

Through seven innings, with Salem leading 8-3, an eighth consecutive victory to finish the half seemed all but assured. But Carolina had other ideas, erupting for 10 runs in the eighth inning and scoring one more in the ninth to beat the Sox 14-8 in the first-half finale on Sunday at LewisGale Field.

The Mudcats scored nine of the ten runs with two outs, delivering eight consecutive two-out hits against the Red Sox bullpen, culminating in Carlos Moncrief’s three-run bomb to straight away center. Ronny Rodriguez went 2-for-2 in the inning and 5-for-5 in the game, which dropped the Sox to 41-28-1. Carolina finished the half at 32-38.

Ryan Pressly allowed just one earned run in his five and two-thirds innings, departing with the Sox up 5-3 in the top of the sixth. Salem scored three more runs in the last of the sixth to take a five-run advantage, but no win was in the cards for Pressly since the Sox could not hang on. Manny Rivera was bludgeoned six runs on seven hits, while Andrew Jones surrendered five runs on six hits out of the usually reliable Red Sox bullpen.

The Mudcats finished with 20 hits, matching Salem’s best output of the season. Six different Carolina hitters registered multiple hits, while four delivered multi-RBI performances.

Michael Almanzar led Salem with three hits in four at-bats, while Jackie Bradley, Jr. and Adalberto Ibarra each contributed two hits apiece.

Four members of the Red Sox will head to the All-Star Game on Tuesday in Winston-Salem, where the Carolina League will take on the California League. Bradley, Xander Bogaerts, Travis Shaw, and Mike Olmsted will represent Salem in the festivities.

The Red Sox return to action on Thursday evening in Lynchburg, as Salem begins the second half with seven straight on the road.