Merritt notches No. 13 as Mudcats drop Keys
Posted August 20
Zebulon, N.C. — Ryan Merritt weaved seven masterful innings and the Carolina Mudcats rolled over the Frederick Keys 6-2 on Tuesday night at Five County Stadium. The Mudcats (26-30, 55-68) snapped an eight-game losing streak at home and picked up their 11th win over the Keys (25-30, 57-65) this summer.
Merritt (13-3) became the fourth Mudcats pitcher to record 13 wins in a single season. He also became the first since Robert Averette in 2000. The Texan pitched through seven innings for the 11th time and earned his 15th quality start. Merritt yielded four base runners, all hits, and one run over the course of his night while striking out four.
Parker Bridwell (5-10) suffered his fourth defeat to Carolina. The right-hander struggled with his command, issuing five walks in only two innings of work. He allowed five runs on three hits with two strikeouts.
Torsten Boss put the Mudcats on the scoreboard in the first inning. The right fielder stroked a two-out double down the right field line to plate Diaz and Jerrud Sabourin following walks.
Yhoxian Medina lined a double down the left side with two away in the second to spark another barrage. Diaz worked his second walk of the night to bring up Sabourin. The 2013 Carolina League All-Star belted his fifth home run, a moon shot out to right, to score Medina and Yandy Diaz for a 5-0 advantage.
After an infield single by Jason Esposito scored a run for Frederick in the top of the fourth, the Mudcats responded with another in their half of the inning. Medina drew a base on balls to open the stanza and scored on a double by Eric Haase.
The Keys pushed across their final run on a single by Esposito in the ninth, but Benny Suarez retired the final two batters to polish off the victory.
Diaz finished the night with four walks, tying the Carolina League era record for the club.
The Mudcats continue their series with Frederick on Wednesday night. First pitch against the Keys is set for 7 p.m. and the gates open at 6 p.m.