ZEBULON, N.C. — Thad Ward and two relievers combined to toss a four-hit shutout and Pedro Castellanos drove in a pair of runs as the Salem Red Sox shut out the Carolina Mudcats 3-0 in front of 6,213 at Five County Stadium on Saturday evening.
Castellanos got Salem on the board in the top of the fourth inning with a line-drive solo homer over the wall in left-center field off Carolina starter Matt Smith. Two innings later, Castellanos doubled the lead as he brought home Garrett Benge with a sacrifice fly off Mudcat reliever Chad Whitmer. Nick Lovullo added insurance in the top of the eighth with an RBI double that scored Nick Sciortino.
The offense was more than enough for Ward, who evened his record at 2-2 with five shutout innings, allowing only one hit and four walks with eight strikeouts in his 91-pitch outing. Recent callup Logan Browning tossed two shutout innings, including working out of a two-on, no-out jam in the top of the sixth inning. Joan Martinez closed the game with a scoreless ninth, allowing only a two-out double to Zach Clark, to earn his first save of the season. Smith, despite only allowing the homer to Castellanos in five frames, took the hard-luck loss and fell to 4-10 on the season.
ON DECK: Salem and Carolina conclude their three-game weekend series with a 2:05 p.m. first pitch Sunday. Daniel Gonzalez (4-8, 4.38) gets the start for the Sox against Mudcat southpaw Aaron Ashby (2-6, 3.65).