Salem Red Sox complete sweep of Mudcats

salem red soxThe Salem Red Sox finished off a perfect seven-game homestand with a 3-1 victory over the Carolina Mudcats Thursday night at LewisGale Field. With the win, Salem moves to 2.0 games behind the idle Myrtle Beach Pelicans for first place in the second half Southern Division standings.

The Red Sox (75-47, 32-21) had chances against Caleb Beech, but couldn’t cash in until the bottom of the fourth inning. Jose Sermo singled and stole second base before coming around to score on a two-out single from David Sopilka. Deiner Lopez followed with an RBI single to plate Sopilka, and later scored from second on an infield single from Bryan Hudson to give Salem a 3-0 lead.

Hudson went 2-for-4 with a walk and an RBI, and has now reached base safely in 16 straight games at LewisGale Field.

Carolina (45-79, 16-38) got one run back in the top of the fifth against Michael Kopech when Sean Godfrey singled in Luis Valenzuela.

The Salem righty was thoroughly dominant on the mound once again, tying career highs in innings pitched (6.0) and strikeouts (11) in a game. Additionally, Kopech (3-1) did not issue a walk for the first time in nine starts with the Red Sox.

In four starts in the month of August, Kopech has struck out 38 batters in 22.0 innings, allowing only nine hits and posting a 1.23 ERA. Since debuting with Salem on July 7, the righty has struck out 71 batters, the most of any pitcher in all of Minor League Baseball.

Bobby Poyner was the first out of the bullpen for the Red Sox, and allowed only an infield single in 2.0 scoreless frames. The southpaw has now strung together five appearances without allowing a run, spanning 7.1 innings.

In the top of the ninth, Simon Mercedes brought the tying run to the plate with a two-out walk, but danced around trouble to earn his sixth save of the season.

Salem has now won seven games in a row, the third streak of the season in which the Red Sox have been victorious in at least seven straights contests. The Sox also ran their home winning streak to 10 games, the second-longest streak in franchise history. The victory also tied a Red Sox-era record for most wins at home in a season (42).

The Red Sox start a six-game road trip with a three-game series against the Winston-Salem Dash Friday night at BB&T Ballpark. First pitch is scheduled for 7 pm. Salem will send lefty Matt Kent (8-6, 3.87) to the mound in the opener, while Winston-Salem has not announced a starter for the bout. Follow along with all the action on the Salem Red Sox Baseball Network, with pre-game coverage beginning at 6:45 pm.

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