Lynchburg Hillcats make it two in a row
The Lynchburg Hillcats added their second consecutive win thanks to their offense scoring runs in five of their eight innings at the plate. One through nine in the lineup contributed to the 7-3 win. Michael Lee earned his second win of the season with Lynchburg by going seven strong.
The first inning started to look like it was going to be a long one for the Hillcats and Michael Lee, but a pick-off at first and two consecutive outs after another hit, settled the storm. Lee would retire the next 11 batters.
It wasn’t as smooth, or quick, for Carolina starter, Francisco Jimenez. Working slowly and deliberately, Jimenez was giving Lynchburg every opportunity to break the game open, but the ‘Cats couldn’t take advantage of all the base runners that reached. Through three innings, Lynchburg left seven runners on. They were clinging to a one-run lead thanks to Emerson Landoni’s RBI single in the bottom of second.
The bottom of the fourth would help erase the bad memory of those first few innings. Mycal Jones started with a double and two batters later Dan Brewer lined a single to right to score the speedy Jones to give the Hillcats a 2-0 lead.
Carolina battled back in the top half of the fifth with a couple runs of their own. Lee allowed three consecutive hits to Anthony Gallas, Tyler Cannon and Alex Monsalve. A single by Cannon scored Gallas and a double by Monsalve scored Cannon. The score was tied at 2-2 heading into the bottom of the fifth.
Adam Milligan broke the tie in the bottom of the fifth with his 12th homer of the season. The solo shot was off new pitcher, Jeff Johnson, gave Lynchburg a 3-2 lead.
Johnson would struggle again in the bottom of the sixth, two singles started the inning before Edwin Rodriguez, manager of the Mudcats, called for an intentional walk to load the bases for Chris Garcia. The righty Johnson was able to get the lefty Garcia out, but Salcedo picked up his ‘mates with a two-RBI single to push the lead to 5-2.
Garcia would avenge his out with the bases loaded with a fielder’s choice that scored Nick Ahmed to give the ‘Cats a four-run cushion. The scoring wasn’t over, the bases were once again loaded and it would be Milligan’s turn to come through. With two strikes on him, Milligan hit a deep fly to center that allowed Brewer to score his second run of the day to pad the lead.
For the second consecutive night the Mudcats would add a run in the ninth. It would be Jesus Aguilar’s sac fly in the ninth that inched Carolina closer. However, Juan Jamie was able to close down the offense to complete his two innings with his 18th save of the season.
Lee (2-2) went seven innings and allowed just the two runs on his way to victory. Johnson picked up his first decision–and loss–of the season. He went two innings, allowed three runs and fanned four.