Four-run seventh dooms Salem Red Sox in 5-2 loss to Carolina

salem red soxThe Carolina Mudcats broke through for four runs in the top of the seventh inning and held on to knock off the Salem Red Sox 5-2 Sunday afternoon at LewisGale Field.

The game was a pitcher’s duel for the first six innings. Salem starter Teddy Stankiewicz retired the first ten batters he faced, not allowing a hit until the fourth inning. Stankiewicz was excellent through six innings with just one run and four hits against him. He did not walk a batter and struck out three while not factoring in the decision.

Salem scored first in the contest with a two-out rally in the third inning. Mario Martinez led off the home half with a single and advanced to third base when Cole Sturgeon reached on an error by Connor Lien. Tzu-Wei Lin then yanked a doubled down the right field line scoring Martinez to give the Sox a 1-0 lead.

The Mudcats scored their lone run off of Stankiewicz just one half-inning later. Levi Hyams singled with one out and stole second to put himself in scoring position. Carlos Franco singled two batters later to score Hyams and even the score at one in the fourth.

Carolina took the lead for good in the top of the seventh. Mike Adams entered the game in relief of Stankiewicz to begin the inning and walked the first two batters he faced. Connor Lien then bunted his way aboard to load the bases. Johan Camargo followed with a sacrifice fly to right field to score Connor Oliver and take the lead. Sean Godfrey then tapped a swinging bunt down the third base line that scored another run, making it 3-1. Hyams then doubled to left to score Lien and Godfrey and push the lead to 5-1.

Salem pushed one more run across in the bottom of the seventh as Betts singled home Martinez who had doubled in front of him. Martinez finished 2-for-4 and scored both Red Sox runs in the game.

Andrew Thurman (4-2) earned the win with 6.1 innings of five-hit baseball for Carolina. He allowed two run (one earned), struck out four and did not walk a batter. Adams (1-1) was tagged with his first loss, allowing four runs (three earned) over three innings out of the bullpen. He walked two and struck out one in the losing effort.

Salem fell to 16-15 with the loss and the Mudcats improved to 18-12. The teams will meet in the rubber game of the five-game set on Monday at7:05 p.m. Kevin McAvoy (2-1, 2.36) is slated to start for Salem against Carolina’s Blair Walters (1-0, 3.07). Fans unable to attend can listen to the game on 1240 AM ESPN Roanoke, online at or via the TuneIn Radio app.

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