SALEM, VA - The Mudcats hit into a season high six double plays and were held to just two runs despite totaling 11 hits while losing 11-2 in game one of a four game series versus the Red Sox at Haley Toyota Field in Salem on Friday night.
Jorge Ortega started for Carolina (55-60, 21-24) and pitched into the third, but left with two men on and with six runs already in. Phil Bickford followed and ended up allowing both inherited runners to score before eventually getting out of the third inning. Overall, the Red Sox (54-60, 22-24) totaled four runs in the third and ended up leading 8-0 over the first third of the game.
Ortega (0-2, 6.75) took the loss after allowing eight runs (three earned) on seven hits over two and 2/3 innings pitched. Bickford, meanwhile, allowed three runs on four hits over two and 1/3 innings. He gave up all three of his runs in the fifth and did so after walking the first two he faced before allowing two straight hits in the frame.
In all, Salem rallied for eight runs over the first three frames and tacked on three more later in the fifth before Wuilder Rodriguez held them scoreless over the final three innings. Rodriguez worked through three scoreless innings with one hit allowed and one strikeout for the Mudcats.
Jagger Rusconi went 3-for-4 with two runs, two doubles and three RBI while leading the way for the Red Sox offensively. Rusconi had a run scoring in Salem's three run second and a RBI double in the four run fourth. Chris Madera capped Salem's four run fourth with a two-run double off Bickford and went 2-for-4 with three RBI in the game. Jake Romanski and Ryan Scott were both 1-for-3 with Romanski scoring three times and Scott tallying a run scoring triple in the game.
Kevin McAvoy started for the Red Sox and earned the victory after holding Carolina to just one run on six hits over six innings pitched. McAvoy (1-2, 3.99) also walked four and struck out four while earning the win.
Algenis Martinez pitched the final three frames and earned the save after allowing just one run and five hits. Martinez (S, 5) also walked one and pitched around two hits in the ninth while earning the save.
Devin Hairston and Cooper Hummel both doubled and scored runs for Carolina in the loss. Hairston started the fifth with a double off McAvoy before scoring moments later on a RBI single from Dallas Carroll. Hummel started the Carolina eighth with a double before scoring moments later on a RBI hit from Ryan Aguilar.
Carroll, Hairston and Rob Henry each had two hits in the game. Hairston, however, also hit into three of Carolina's six double plays in the series opening loss.
The series will continue on Saturday night with the first pitch scheduled for 6:05 p.m. in Salem. Carolina will send RHP Devin Williams to the mound for the game two of four start in Salem.
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.