ZEBULON, N.C. - Jordan Yamamoto allowed just three hits and struck out seven over seven scoreless innings and Lucas Erceg went 1-for-3 with a two-run home run in the fourth as the Mudcats defeated the Dash 2-0 at Five County Stadium on Tuesday night.
The Mudcats (67-65, 31-33) totaled just two hits in the shutout and series opening victory against the visiting Dash (53-80, 29-34). The second of their two hits was Erceg's homer (15) in the fourth and that ended up being enough as Yamamoto (8-4, 2.68) cruised his way through seven scoreless frames with just three hits allowed.
Yamamoto pitched to a season high 81 game score and allowed just four men to reach safely in what was his third straight victory. He allowed a one-out single to Seby Zavala in the third, but then went on to retire 14 consecutive Dash batters while working through the seventh. Yamamoto finished with one walk and three hits allowed, while also striking out seven on 106 pitches (75 strikes). He also improved to 4-1 with a 2.03 ERA over his last five starts and 3-0 with a 0.00 ERA over his last three.
Video: Mudcats' Yamamoto gets a strikeout
Relievers Wuilder Rodriguez and Nate Griep worked the final two frames for the Mudcats following Yamamoto's brilliant outing. Rodriguez retired the side and struck out two in the eighth and Griep (S, 27) did the same in the ninth while earning his league leading 27th save. Yamamoto, Rodriguez and Griep combined to retire 20 straight Dash hitters between the third and ninth while finishing the game.
Griep's 27 saves are the second most in Carolina Mudcats' franchise history. The club record is 28 saves and was set by Chris Mobley in 2008.
Dane Dunning started for the Dash and took the loss after allowing just two runs and two hits over six innings pitched. Dunning (5-8, 3.73) allowed a two-run home run to Lucas Erceg in the fourth, but also finished with 10 strikeouts and just two walks allowed in the loss.
Erceg finished the game 1-for-3, but had the biggest hit of the night as his home run in the fourth accounted for all of the scoring in the game. The home run was his team leading 15th of the season and it brought his season RBI total to a Carolina League high 79 on the year. It was also his third home run off Dunning and his seventh against the Dash this season.
Erceg and Weston Wilson had the only two hits for the Mudcats in the victory. Corey Ray went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts and Trent Clark went 0-for-3 with a walk. Clark's walk (96) moved him within one of matching Carolina's franchise record for walks in a season. The record is 97 walks and was set by Tracy Sanders in 1998.
Carolina improved to 17-5 overall and 11-0 versus the Dash at Five County Stadium this season with the victory. Carolina's elimination number, however, fell to just one as the Buies Creek Astros also won in a home game versus Myrtle Beach on Tuesday night.
UP NEXT: The three game series between the Dash and Mudcats continues on Wednesday night at Five County Stadium. Kodi Medeiros will get the start for Carolina as they look to improve to 12-0 versus the Dash at Five County Stadium this season. The game will air 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 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.