FIVE COUNTY STADIUM/ZEBULON The Carolina Mudcats are hosting the Jacksonville Suns in Game 4 of their most recent five-game series, and they’ll need a pair of wins to emerge victorious in the set.
There’s no hole in the clouds in the sky, and there’s a light, steady rain but no tarp on the field at game time. And as the rain turns into a drizzle they’ll play through.
Scott Carroll (3-5) will start for the Mudcats against Elih Villanueva (10-4).
Former Mudcat Lee Mitchell does most of the damage, knocking in all three runs for the victors as they win 3-1 to take the series.
Dan Johnson hit his 30th homer of the season and the Durham Bulls won their 10th straight game, topping the host Pawtucket Red Sox 5-1 Saturday night in the opener of their four-game series.
Victor Vasquez (6-1) picked up the victory while Mark Holliman (0-3) took the loss.
Pawtucket’s nine hits were all singles.
FIVE COUNTY STADIUM/ZEBULON It’s Game 3 of yet another Carolina Mudcats series with the Jacksonville Suns, and so far the wins are at one apiece.
Tonight’s big promotion is mascot Muddy’s birthday, and his counterparts from the Carolina Hurricanes, Carolina Panthers, Charlotte Bobcats, Carolina Railhawks, N.C. State, Charlotte Knights, Winston-Salem Dash and WilsonTobs are in the house. And there will be the usual Friday post-game fireworks as well.
Mudcats ace Matt Klinker (5-4) is on the hill against Jose Rosario (3-2).
Throw the pitchers’ duel idea out the window, as Jacksonville wins 10-8 and Mudcats catcher Devin Mesoraco suffers a concussion that will have him out of the lineup for a bit.
The Durham Bulls are on an eight-game winning streak and have the largest lead in the standings of any team in Organized Baseball.
Desmond Jennings added a pair of doubles in the Bulls’ 14-hit attack, helping Richard De Los Santos (10-5) to the victory. Drew Carpenter (7-7) took the loss.
The Bulls will start a four-game series at Pawtucket on Saturday.
FIVE COUNTY STADIUM/ZEBULON It’s Game 2 of yet another series between the host Carolina Mudcats and the Jacksonville Suns, and once again it’s very important to both teams.
It should be a pretty good pitchers’ duel, as Matt Fairel (5-3) takes the hill for the Mudcats against league victory leader Tom Koehler (12-2). And it’s “Thirsty Thursday,” with discount beverages for all.
The pitchers’ duel materializes, and the Mudcats finally score two in the ninth to trump Jacksonville’s one in the top of the frame to win 3-2.
J.J. Furmaniak’s 11th inning double gave the Durham Bulls their eighth straight victory, a 2-1 road win over the Lehigh Valley IronPigs on Thursday.
The Bulls scored their only run in regulation in the sixth as Angel Chavez led off with a single, followed by bunt singles from Jose Lobaton and Fernando Perez and an RBI grounder from Desmond Jennings.
John Mayberry’s homer in the ninth for Lehigh Valley sent the game into extra innings.
The series finale is on Friday, after which the Bulls will visit Pawtucket for four before returning home Aug. 5 against Indianapolis.
FIVE COUNTY STADIUM/ZEBULON The Carolina Mudcats return for the opener of a five-game home set against — surprise! — the Jacksonville Suns.
The Mudcats come in two games out of the lead in the North Division while the Suns — managed by former Mudcats infielder and N.C. State assistant coach Tim Leiper — are half a game out in the South after winning the first half.
Fortunately for both teams the heat is down a little bit, and that’s appropriate because tonight’s promotion is “Christmas in July.” All the top holiday pop standards are on the PA system, fans are getting free souvenirs, and players from both teams are wearing photoshopped holiday hats on the video board.
The Mudcats will send Travis Webb (5-6) to the hill against Jeff Allison (5-6).
Led by a big night from Osvaldo Martinez, Jacksonville rallies early and coasts to a 6-2 win.
Dan Johnson had two hits and an RBI for the Durham Bulls, leading them to a 3-2 road decision over the Lehigh Valley IronPigs that was their seventh straight victory.
Joe Dillon was the only other Bull with two hits, while Elliot Johnson doubled.
The Bulls won despite solo homers from Andy Tracy and Melvin Dorta, each of whom finished with two hits.
Game 3 of the four-game set is Thursday morning.
“There’s positives, but right now we have to learn from this quickly. We have to improve because we can’t be saying the same things after every home game,” Rennie said.
“Ultimately, you’re never going to be a good team unless you’re good at home. You play half of your games here, and we’ve got to find that very, very quickly because we have a lot of home games coming up.”
The RailHawks played in Cary for the first time in a full month, due to an oddly conceived league schedule, and have struggled to find a rhythm in front of Triangle fans despite sitting in second place in the NASL Division with three games in hand.
Tuesday’s loss, which followed a 1-0 win at Rochester the week before and kicks off a four-game home stand, means the RailHawks have now collected just one win, five points and six goals in six home contests. Away games have been a different story, though, with the team earning 19 points in 10 matches, losing only once this season, a 1-0 loss to Montreal earlier this month.
Rennie sets his team up differently on the road, using more of a counterattacking strategy than at WakeMed, where he favors a more open, creative approach. Away teams, however, often come to Cary seeking to defend and secure a draw, or to steal a cheap goal and earn all three points.
Rochester followed that approach perfectly, keeping 10 players behind the ball most of the evening, thudding long balls and sending a lone striker to chase after them.
Justin Ruggiano’s three-run homer in the ninth provided the difference as the Durham Bulls got their road trip off on the right foot with a 5-3 win over the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
Scott Mathieson (3-4) took the loss.
Elliot Johnson had three hits including a double for the Bulls, while Lobaton added two hits.
Dominic Brown led Lehigh Valley with a triple and a single for two RBI.
Game 2 of the four-game set is Wednesday night.