ZEBULON, N.C. - The visiting Astros pounded out 19 hits and scored 14 times en route to a 14-1 drubbing of the Mudcats on Friday night in Zebulon. The loss snapped Carolina's winning streak at four straight games and came in front of a crowd of 4,502 at Five County Stadium.
Jose Hernandez started and earned the win for the Astros (78-56, 41-24) after holding Carolina (64-71, 30-35) scoreless over six quality innings. Hernandez (2-2, 2.35) scattered just two hits and struck out 10 while pitching to a 80 game score.
Jorge Ortega started for Carolina and took the loss after allowing two runs on three hits in the first and two more runs on two hits in the second before leaving the game. In all, Ortega (0-5, 8.88) walked one, struck out one and allowed four runs (three earned) on five hits over two innings and took the loss.
J.J. Matijevic started the first inning rally with a double and scored moments later on a screaming RBI single off the left-field wall from Bryan De La Cruz. Seth Beer then followed with a run scoring hit to center as the Astros took a 2-0 lead in the opening frame. The two run second meanwhile included a run scoring single from Corey Julks and a sac fly from De La Cruz.
Buies Creek led 4-0 after two, but then added six more runs between the third and fourth while taking a 10-0 lead in the game. All six runs were scored off reliever Wuilder Rodriguez after he took over in place of Ortega. Rodriguez allowed a RBI single to Jacob Meyers in the third and allowed two runs overall in the frame before allowing for more runs in the fourth. Meyers had another RBI single and both Chuckie Robinson and Cody Bohanek had RBI doubles in the fourth. Rodriguez gave up six runs on six hits and walked two over two innings.
The Buies Creek offense totaled 10 runs on 11 hits over the first four innings, but were then held scoreless and to just two hits over the next three innings by reliever Phil Bickford. Julks greeted Bickford to the game with a single, but was caught at second while attempting to stretch the hit into a double. Bickford then went on to retire the next seven batters he faced while totaling five strikeouts over three innings pitched.
Daniel Brown followed Bickford in the eighth and allowed a run after walking Meyers with the bases loaded. Brown also hit a batter, walked two and allowed one hit in his lone inning. Catcher Nathan Rodriguez then pitched the ninth and would end up allowing five hits and three runs in the final inning. One of his four hits allowed was a two-run home run to Beer.
Carolina's only run of the game came in the eighth when Trever Morrison brought in Pat McInerney from third with a bases loaded sacrifice fly. Morrison had entered the game moments earlier as a pinch hitter in place of Demi Orimoloye who had pulled from the game before entering the on-deck circle in the eighth. The Brewers later announced after the game that Orimoloye had been traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for Curtis Granderson.
Reliever Brendan Feldmann gave up Carolina's eighth inning run and worked through two innings in all in place of Hernandez. Feldmann also walked three and struck out one. Yohan Ramirez pitched the ninth and held Carolina scoreless while striking out one.
NOTES: Cooper Hummel went 0-for-3 with a walk while maintaining his Carolina League leading on-base percentage at .390 for the season... Demi Orimoloye went 1-for-3 with a single while stretching his hitting streak to 11 straight games... Nick Franklin went 3-for-4 with a double.
UP NEXT: The Mudcats will conclude their final home stand of the season with game two of a split, home/away, four game versus the Buies Creek Astros at Five County Stadium on Saturday night beginning at 6:00 p.m. Tickets are available by visiting www.carolinamudcats.com/tickets, by calling (919) 269-CATS (2287) and by visiting the Five County Stadium front office in Zebulon. The game will air on the Mudcats Radio Network, the Big Dawg 98.5 FM and via TuneIn Radio at carolinamudcats.com. It will also stream live via 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.