By Darren Headrick / Carolina Mudcats (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Zebulon, NC April 22, 2013 – The Carolina Mudcats earned their first shutout of the year thanks to great pitching and defense in a 3-0 triumph over the Potomac Nationals on Monday night at Five County Stadium.
Playing through the mist and a cold wind, the Mudcats (7-10) snapped a three-game losing streak behind another quality start for Cody Anderson (3-0). The right-hander hurled four unblemished innings while scattering four hits. He walked two and struck out three. Jeff Johnson pitched a scoreless inning-and-a-third for his third save.
The loss drops Potomac to 8-9 on the year. Taylor Jordan (1-1) took the loss after allowing two runs on seven hits over 5.1 innings. He walked one with five strikeouts.
The Mudcats opened the scoring in the first by loading the bases on singles from Tyler Naquin and Francisco Lindor. Jerrud Sabourin reached on a fielding error by shortstop Cutter Dykstra. Jordan Smith hit into a force play towards second that scored Naquin for a 1-0 lead.
From there, Carolina’s defense held Potomac’s potent offense in check. After getting runners at the corners with two out against Anderson in the third, the Nationals’ top hitter Jason Martinson cracked a fly ball to deep right. Smith ran it down just in front of the fence, making an over-the-shoulder, basket catch for the final out.
Carolina extended the lead in the sixth when Justin Toole drove in Anthony Gallas from third on a two-out single.
Trailing 2-0 in the eighth, the Nationals drew a pair of two-out walks against reliever Francisco Jimenez to chase the lefty. Carolina brought in their closer Johnson, who walked Martinson to load the bases. A groundball to Sabourin at first retired Adrian Sanchez for the final out.
Bryson Myles led off the last of the eighth with his third home run of the year for the final margin. Johnson retired the side in order in the ninth to polish off the shutout.
The Mudcats continue their four-game series with the Potomac Nationals at Five County Stadium on Tuesday night at 7:15 p.m. Right-hander Jacob Lee will make his fourth start against the Nationals’ A.J. Cole. Tuesday nights at Five County Stadium are “Dollar Dog Days” presented by Carolina Packers. Tickets can be purchased by calling (919) 269-2287 or visiting carolinamudcats.com.