ZEBULON, NC - Salem's Pedro Castellanos went 3-for-3 with three RBI and starter Daniel Gonzalez pithed through six scoreless frames as the Red Sox clinched a series win with a 4-1 victory versus the Mudcats on Sunday afternoon at Five County Stadium. Rob Henry played in both right field and caught briefly in the game went 1-for-3 with Carolina's only run of the game.
Salem (28-21, 53-63) scored three of its four runs in the game over the first two frame after getting a run scoring single from Keith Curcio in the first and a two-out, two-run double from Castellanos in the second. Castellanos also had a RBI single in the seventh while putting Salem up 4-0 early in the game. Carolina's only run came in the eighth when Julio Garcia brought in Henry with a two-out single to right.
That lone Carolina (21-29, 60-59) run came across well after Gonzalez (W, 5-8, .418) had left the game. Gonzalez pitched through six scoreless innings with seven strikeouts and four hits allowed while earning the victory. Relievers Rio Gomez, Anyelo Gomez and Andrew Schwaab followed with Rio Gomez allowing a run over an inning a 1/3, Anyelo Gomez allowing an inherited runner to score over 2/3 of an inning and Schwaab (S, 10) earning the save with a scoreless frame.
Garcia's run scoring hit, meanwhile, came in his only at bat of the game as he was brought in off the bench in the seventh after catcher Mario Feliciano was ejected. Garcia initially went in to play in right field as outfielder Rob Henry replaced Feliciano behind the plate while catching in an emergency role for the first time in his professional career. Henry caught the last out of the seventh, but returned to right in the next inning as Trever Morrison went on to catch the eighth and ninth innings and Garcia moved to second. Catcher Payton Henry was not available for Sunday's game.
Feliciano's ejection was his first of the season and was immediately followed by the fifth ejection for Manager Joe Ayrault. Both ejections were made by home plate umpire Josh Gilreath. Feliciano's ejection also came after reliever Cody Beckman walked Curcio with two outs in the seventh. Beckman also hit Ryan Fitzgerald two batters earlier before then giving up Castellanos' RBI single.
Beckman allowed a run on one hit, struck out two and walked one over one inning for the Mudcats. He was later followed by Peter Strzelecki who went on to work a scoreless eighth and ninth for Carolina.
Nelson Hernandez started the game for the Mudcats and ended up with the loss after allowing three runs on six hits over four plus innings pitched. Hernandez (L, 10-9, 4.34) saw one run come across in the first on Curcio's single and two in the second on Castellano's double. He eventually settled in and ended up walking two and totaling four strikeouts in the loss.
Phil Bickford followed Hernandez in the fifth and went on to escape the frame without allowing a run. Bickford inherited two men on base from Hernandez, but first induced a lineout double play before getting a flyout to end the frame. He then pitched a scoreless sixth and, in all, totaled one strikeout over his two scoreless innings pitched. Bickford's two scoreless frames stetched his current streak of consecutive scoreless innings to 14 straight.
The Sunday afternoon loss came in the finale of the series and clinched a series victory for the visiting Red Sox. It also dropped Carolina to 9.5 games back of first in the second half and 6.0 games back of a playoff spot.
The Mudcats are now just 1-2 in their current six-game home stand. Following Monday's off-day, the home stand will continue on Tuesday night at Five County Stadium with game one of a three game series versus the Winston-Salem Dash.
The game will air live on the Mudcats Radio Network, The Big Dawg 98.5 FM and online at carolinamudcats.com via TuneIn Radio. The game will also stream live in full high-definition video on MiLB.tv via Minor League Baseball's subscription service.
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.