Salem Red Sox fall to Carolina

Both teams scored runs on just two swings on Tuesday night, but Carolina’s run-producing hacks were bigger and better, guiding the visiting Mudcats to a 6-2 victory over the Salem Red Sox at LewisGale Field.

Giovanny Urshela blasted the fifth pitch of the game over the fence in left for a three-run bomb off Brandon Workman, while Ronny Rodriguez crushed another three-run shot off Will Latimer with two outs in the eighth to add insurance to Carolina’s lead. Workman struck out nine and did not walk anybody, but the first five throws of his 20th Carolina League start saddled him with the defeat.

Leading off the first inning, Tony Wolters and Bo Greenwell delivered back-to-back singles on the first two pitches of the game. Neither was particularly well hit, but the pair of runners aboard set the table for Urshela, who pounded a 2-0 offering for a three-run homer, surging the Mudcats to an early 3-0 edge.

Workman settled down and dominated in six innings following the Urshela dinger, but still fell to 7-7 as the Sox never fully overcame the early deficit. Despite the loss, it was Workman’s 11th consecutive start pitching at least six innings for Salem.

The Red Sox tallied single runs in the third and fourth innings, plating  the first on an Adalberto Ibarra RBI grounder that scored Carson Blair from third. In the last of the fourth, Brandon Jacobs clubbed a solo homer to left, his 11th round-tripper of the season, that inched the Red Sox within a run.

Down 3-2 in the last of the sixth, Salem put runners on second and third with two outs, but  could not capitalize on the opportunity to tie the game or take a lead. In the top of the eighth, Latimer surrendered the two-out, three-run missile to Rodriguez, his 13th bomb of the season, sending the Mudcats to a 6-2 lead that they would not relinquish.

Mike Rayl earned the victory, improving to 8-8 on the year, permitting just two runs (one earned) on seven hits in six innings. Jeff Johnson tossed two scoreless out of the Carolina bullpen, while Cole Cook dealt a 1-2-3 ninth to finish it off.

Shannon Wilkerson led Salem with three hits, including two doubles, while Urshela finished with three hits, falling a triply shy  of the cycle for Carolina.

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