In the third inning, Delvi Cid got aboard with a single against Adam (3-11). Stealing second shortly thereafter, he was sacrificed to third by Tony Wolters. The Rocks ace picked up a strikeout, but Giovanny Urshela laced a double past third base to bring home the game's first run.
Adam ran into trouble in the fifth with the game tied and never got out of the inning. With one out, Bo Greenwell started the rally with a walk. A free pass was then issued to Urshela. With one out, Anthony Gallas scalded a ball off the wall in left field to score a pair of runs and a 3-1 Mudcats lead. A single from Ronny Rodriguez boosted the edge to 4-1.
They added a run on sacrifice fly from Wolters in the eighth inning for a 5-1 lead.
The Rocks briefly tied the game in the bottom of the fourth against Carolina starter Joseph Colon (1-2). With two outs, Wilmington scraped a rally together. Orlando Calixte started things with a single. After a walk to Jose Bonilla, Geulin Beltre looped a base-hit to shallow center field to knot the game at a run apiece.
Brett Brach and Cole Cook were solid in relief for Carolina. Over four innings, they allowed one run on three hits. Cook notched his third save.
The Rocks have a scheduled off day on Monday and begin a six-game road trip on Tuesday when they head to Winston-Salem to take on the Dash at 7:05 p.m. Wilmington has yet to announce a pitcher while Winston's RHP Chris Bassitt (1-2, 3.40) will take the bump. Broadcast coverage begins at 6:35 p.m. as studio host Rob Cunningham brings fans the Rocks Report Pre-game Show, presented by Wawa, on 89.7 WGLS-FM and online at wgls.rowan.edu.
PEBBLES OF KNOWLEDGE:
With the loss and three other Carolina League contests going on in the early evening, the Blue Rocks fall into a share of first place, tied with the Lynchburg Hillcats and Potomac Nationals at 18-18.
This series kicked off a stretch of 15 straight games against Southern Division squads. Even with wins in four of six over teams from the South, the Rocks own a 22-42 (.344) record in interdivisional play. That is in stark contrast to the 25-17 (.595) mark in intradivisional competition. Once this long run against the South concludes, Wilmington's schedule ends with 18 of the final 22 contests against its brothers in the North.
Wilmington was finally held to fewer than four runs on Sunday afternoon. They had scored at least four runs in eight straight games, going 6-2 in that time. The franchise had not turned that trick since an eight-game stretch from Aug. 3-10, 2010. The last time they didn't reach the four run level was on July 19 at Myrtle Beach when they fell 2-1 to the Pelicans.
It took a while but the Mudcats finally won a series away from Five County Stadium. It was their first road triumph in a series since they took three out of four against the Lynchburg Hillcats from April 23-26.
The Blue Rocks have gotten little production from the No. 3 spot in the lineup this season. Minus the numbers of Brian Fletcher, three hole hitters have a meager average of .214 (66-for-309) with 55 strikeouts.
Matt Fields has bashed 13 homers this season, but only has 23 RBIs. The reason for that is that in his 148 plate appearances, 90 of them have come with the bases empty. That equates to 61 percent. However, Fields still rakes with no Rocks on base. He is hitting .346 with 15 extra-base hits, including nine solo homers.
The Blue Rocks made a pair of errors on Friday night and won. They were not as lucky on Saturday, making two miscues that led to four unearned runs in the four-run loss. An error in the ninth-inning by Jose Bonilla allowed a fifth Mudcat run to score. This five-error stretch in their last three games comes after they only made two total errors in their prior 13 games.
Despite not having his best stuff, Jason Adam continues to get little run support as he lost his 11th game. With just one Rocks score on Sunday, he has now been given 65 runs of support in 21 starts, equating to 3.1 runs/game. Over his last five starts, he has received just 10 runs of support, working out to just two runs of help per nod. As of the end of Sunday's contest, it now puts him in sole possession of the most losses in the Carolina League and would tie him for the fifth-most losses in minor league baseball.
It was just the second time, and first since April 28, that Adam failed to last five innings.