Mudcats pitching struggles in 10-3 loss to Keys
The Mudcats pitching was shaky, at best, allowing 12 hits, 10 runs and 8 walks at Harry Grove Stadium on Sunday.
FREDERICK, MD – Despite holding an early lead, shaky pitching undid the Carolina Mudcats in a 10-3 loss to the Frederick Keys on Sunday afternoon. The loss marked the first time Carolina did not win in Frederick this season.
Coming off of a disastrous start, right-hander Michaels Peoples took the mound and, unfortunately for the Mudcats, Sunday's start was not much better than his last.
Peoples breezed through the first two innings, but ran into trouble in the third giving up five runs in the frame. Peoples finished the day with three innings pitched, while giving up five runs on six hits, five strikeouts and two walks. Peoples was hung with the loss, dropping his record to 0-2 on the season.
In his return to the Mudcats, first baseman Jerrud Sabourin went 4-for-4 on the afternoon with a double, and a run scored.
Carolina jumped on the board early, scoring a run in the top half of the opening inning.
Left fielder Luigi Rodriguez led off the game with a double to center field. With one out, shortstop Erik Gonzalez singled to put runners on the corners. After catcher Jeremy Lucas flew out to shallow right field, designated hitter Anthony Gallas hit a RBI single to left field to score Rodriguez. Gonzalez attempted to race around the bases and score from second on the hit, but was thrown out at home to end the inning.
In his first game back with the Mudcats, Sabourin led off the second inning with a double to left field. Second baseman Todd Hankins followed with a walk, and Carolina was in position for a big inning.
With one out, a wild pitch advanced the runners to second and third, but right fielder Torsten Boss struck out for the second out of the inning. A passed ball allowed Sabourin to race in to score, but that would be the only run the Mudcats would push across in the inning.
After scoreless frames from both teams, the Keys broke through with a big inning in the bottom of the third. Back-to-back singles followed by a double by Orioles third baseman Manny Machado led off the inning, and allowed Frederick to tie the score at two without getting an out.
With one out on a sacrifice bunt, a single brought Machado in to score to allow the Keys to take their first lead of the game. A RBI double brought in a fourth run, and a two-out error allowed another run to score to give Frederick a 5-2 lead after three innings.
Sabourin collected his second hit of the afternoon, a single to lead off the fourth inning, and a wild pitch allowed him to take second, but was stranded there to end the inning.
Right-hander Grant Sides relieved Peoples in the fourth inning, and had nearly as difficult of a time figuring out the Frederick lineup as Peoples had.
A walk followed by a Machado double put runners on second and third with no outs. With one out, a RBI groundout brought one run in to score, and a two-out error brought in a second run to get the Keys a five-run cushion.
With Melo pitching, a walk followed by a wild pitch, a stolen base and a second walk put runners on the corners. After another steal, and a third walk loaded the bases, still with no outs in the frame. A RBI single brought in one run, while keeping the bases juiced, but the Keys were not done there.
Suarez relived Melo after that at-bat and gave up a ground ball that got the out at second base, but allowed a second run in the inning to score. With runners on the corners and one-out, a RBI groundout gave up another run, but that would be it for the Keys in the inning.
Neither team scored again until Gallas led off the ninth inning with a solo home run, but that would be all Carolina could manage closing out the game.
Carolina returns to action on Monday against Frederick. Lefty Ryan Merritt takes the mound for the Mudcats who will try to get back to their winning ways.
Zachary is a senior at NC State where he is majoring in communication-media, with minors in journalism and theatre. You can follow him on Twitter @RealZachFrancis.