ZEBULON, NC (Thursday, July 6, 2017) - Tate Matheny went yard for the second consecutive night and Chris Madera collected three hits as the Salem Red Sox took down the Carolina Mudcats 8-3 Thursday night at Five County Stadium.
The Sox (10-5, 50-34) earned their fourth straight win and moved back to a season-best 16 games above .500, earning a share of first place alongside the Lynchburg Hillcats in the Northern Division. Carolina (8-7, 44-39) took the lead in the fourth inning but control issues allowed the visitors to retake the advantage. It was Salem's second three-game road sweep of the season, and their first sweep against Carolina since August 15-18 of 2016 at Salem.
The Sox took the lead in the top of the second inning against Carolina starter Marcos Diplán (L, 4-5). Tyler Spoon earned a one-out single, and Tate Matheny lofted an opposite-field fly for a homer to right. The two-run shot put the Sox ahead 2-0.
The Mudcats struck back in the bottom of the fourth against Sox starting pitcher Shaun Anderson (W, 2-2). Jake Gatewood led off with a double, and Isan Diaz drew a walk. Trent Clark then bashed a triple to center to score the runners, and came in on a single by Luis Aviles to make it 3-2 in favor of the hosts.
The Sox retook the lead in the top of the sixth inning. Chris Madera cracked a leadoff single, and Diplán hit Jeremy Rivera in the cleats with a pitch. Mudcats manager Joe Ayrault pulled Diplán for reliever Frank Lopez to pitch to Josh Ockimey. The Red Sox slugger blasted a fly to deep right, and it fell in just out of reach of Clark's glove, loading the bases on what became a single. Jose Sermo struck out swinging, but Lopez walked Spoon and Matheny, bringing in two runs while keeping the bases loaded. Jordan Betts singled through the left side to plate Ockimey, and Jhon Nunez hit into a fielder's choice to score Spoon and run the lead to 6-3.
Salem added some insurance in the top of the seventh. Madera led off with a single, and came in to score when Ockimey pummeled a triple to left field. Jose Sermo then raked a double to left, plating Ockimey and extending the lead to 8-3. The Mudcats loaded the bases with one out in the ninth inning, but were unable to cash in.
Anderson pitched well to earn the win, surrendering three runs on five hits and two walks while whiffing three. Logan Boyd (H, 1) tossed three superb innings in his high-A debut, allowing just one hit and fanning five. Marc Brakeman worked around a hit and two walks in his lone inning of action.
The Sox will open up a four-game series with the Lynchburg Hillcats Friday night, with righty Roniel Raudes making the start for Salem against Hillcats righty Shane Bieber. First pitch from Calvin Falwell Field is at 6:30 p.m., and Ben Gellman has the call on the Red Sox Radio Network starting at 6:15 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.