augusta free press news

Salem thrases Mudcats

Brandon Workman put up early zeroes and the Salem Sox soared to an 8-0 lead through four innings, easing past the Mudcats 10-4 on Friday night at LewisGale Field.

Brandon Jacobs and Xander Bogaerts both belted two-run bombs, while Travis Shaw delivered his third four-hit game of the season to lead Salem over Carolina for the eighth time in nine meetings this season between the two clubs.

The win kept the Red Sox alive in the first-half chase, keeping pace with Winston-Salem, who beat Wilmington 2-1 on Friday night. The Sox are currently two games back of the Dash with two games remaining, meaning that the Sox need two wins and the Dash need two losses in the final two days of the half in order for Salem to win its first first-half title since 1988.

Workman saw his ERA shrink to 3.12 with six superb innings, in which he retired 18 of the 21 batters he faced. Although he only struck out two, he did not walk anybody and permitted just three hits, two singles and a triple. The lone run he surrendered came after Ronny Rodriguez led off the fifth with a three-bagger and scored on Carlos Moncrief’s RBI grounder, but Workman was nearly flawless otherwise, improving to 4-3 with his sixth quality start of the season. In relief, Michael Gleason scattered three runs on five hits and earned the three-inning save to close it out.

For the 12th time in their last 13 games, the Red Sox offense scored first on Friday evening, with Jacobs crushing a 3-2, two-out pitch over the fence in left for his fourth round tripper of the season. Up 2-0, the Sox extended the lead thanks to Mike Rayl’s erraticness in the second. Salem rallied for four runs on two hits, three walks, and a hit-batter, with Travis Shaw’s two-run single with the bases loaded the offensive highlight of the frame. Shannon Wilkerson also drew a bases-loaded walk to force in a run, while Bogaerts connected on a sac fly to center that made it 6-0.

In the last of the fourth, Bogaerts’ recent power surge continued, launching a two-run missile over the left field fence for his ninth homer of the season. The eight-run cushion gave the Sox plenty of breathing room for Workman and Gleason to record the remaining outs.

After Carolina broke up the shutout in the fifth, Michael Almanzar singled home Shaw in the sixth to stretch the lead back to a snowman. Jesus Aguilar launched a two-run homer off Gleason in the seventh, but the sox countered again with Sean Coyle receiving a bases loaded hit-by-pitch to force in Jacobs and make it 10-3. With two outs in the ninth, Anthony Gallas crushed another solo homer over the fence in left, but all it did was transform the final score to 10-4.

The Salem Sox and Carolina Mudcats continue their four-game series on Saturday at 6:05, with Miguel Celestino set to oppose Will Roberts.