FredNats’ streak squashed in loss to Mudcats

Fredericksburg NationalsThe Fredericksburg Nationals saw their season-high four-game winning streak come to a close on Sunday night, falling 3-1 to the Carolina Mudcats.

Though Michael Cuevas (L, 1-7) pitched well again, his two leadoff walks in the fifth inning proved to be the difference as the Mudcats converted them into the eventual game-winning runs.

The FredNats took a 1-0 lead in the first, as Jacob Young led off the inning with a double and took third on a bunt single from Darren Baker. Baker stole second, removing the option for a double play on a Branden Boissiere groundout that instead allowed Young to score from third base.

Carolina starter Zach Mort (W, 3-0) took over from there, allowing only a Baker single in his final four innings of work to keep the game within reach for the Mudcats offense. Zack Raabe’s two-out RBI single in the fourth inning tied things up 1-1, and an RBI double from Ernesto Martínez in the fifth against Bryan Peña gave the Mudcats a 2-1 edge. Martinez finished with a four-hit night, extending his hitting streak to 14 games in the process.

Wes Clarke’s sacrifice fly brought home an insurance run to bring the Carolina lead to 3-1 in the fifth, and neither team’s bullpen allowed any more runs. The FredNats got scoreless innings from Tyler Schoff and Brendan Collins in their Low-A debuts, but the offense couldn’t close the gap. James Meeker (S, 3) struck out Onix Vega with two runners aboard to end a threat in the eighth, and struck out four batters in the ninth to work around a passed ball and earn the save.

After an off day on Monday, the FredNats embark on their final road trip of the season as they take on the Salem Red Sox and Delmarva Shorebirds. Tuesday’s first pitch from Haley Toyota Field in Salem is scheduled for 7:05, with FredNats On Deck beginning at 6:50 on the FredNats Baseball Network.

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