WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Mudcats starter Nathan Kirby allowed four runs in the second and reliever Victor Diaz allowed four more in the fifth as the Mudcats lost their second straight game to the Dash 8-1 at BB&T Ballpark in Winston-Salem on Friday night.
Dylan Cease started for the Dash (6-3) and earned the win after holding the Mudcats (5-4) scoreless over six full innings. Cease (1-1, 1.69) also struck out five, walked two and allowed just two hits while earning his first win of the season.
Kirby (0-1, 11.25) worked through a quick first, but then labored his way through two outs in the second while allowing four runs and three hits. He also walked two and struck out two in the second, but left the game after reaching 41 pitches (25 strikes), the majority of which coming in the second inning.
Diaz took over in place of Kirby with one out in the second and was greeted to the game with a bases loaded jam. He ended up allowing a two-run single to first batter he faced, but then escaped the frame moments later by picking off a runner at third to end the inning.
In all, the Dash scored four runs and collected four hits in the second while jumping out to a 4-0 lead. Micker Adolfo and Gavin Sheets started the inning with back-to-back singles off Kirby before scoring later in the inning on a RBI single from Ti'Quan Forbes and a bases loaded walk by Zach Remillard. Kirby issued the run scoring walk to Remillard, but then struck out Joel Booker before leaving the game. Diaz then entered the game and immediately gave up a two-run single to Luis Basabe.
The Dash fifth featured run scoring hits from Booker, Adolfo and Sheets. Diaz, who had pitched through a scoreless third and fourth, allowed all three run scoring hits and five total hits in the fifth before leaving the game.
Reliever Luke Barker took over for Diaz during the four run Dash fifth and managed to strand two inherited runners on base while finishing out the inning without any allowing any other runs. Barker also pitched the sixth and seventh and ended up totaling three strikeouts and allowing just one hit over three scoreless innings. Nattino Diplan later pitched the eighth and finished with a scoreless inning of his own.
Basabe went 3-for-5 with a run and two RBI for the Dash in the game. Adolfo, Booker and Sheets each had two hits and all but one Dash position player scored a run as Winston-Salem won its fifth straight game.
Carolina's lone run of the game came off the bat of Clint Coulter in the seventh after he smashed a solo home run to left off reliever Jose Ruiz. The home run was Coulter's first with the Mudcats and the third and final hit of the game for Carolina. Coulter had two of those three hits and was 2-for-4 with a run and a RBI in the loss.
Ruiz worked through two innings out of the bullpen for the Dash and finished with one run, one hit, two walks and three strikeouts. Zach Thompson later worked a scoreless ninth while finishing the Dash victory.
The series will continue on Saturday night at BB&T Ballpark in Winston-Salem, with the first pitch scheduled for 6:00 p.m. Left-hander Cam Roegner (1-0, 0.00) will get the start for the Mudcats in game three of the four game series. The game will air on the Mudcats Radio Network, The Big Dawg 98.5 FM and online at carolinamudcats.com via TuneIn Radio. It will also stream via live video on MiLB.tv.
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.