The Carolina Mudcats (4-2) were helped by a great effort from starter Dallas Buck (1-0) who worked 5.2 innings to beat the organization that traded him last August; Buck was part of the package sent to the Cincinnati Reds to acquire slugger Adam Dunn. BayBears starter Matt Torra (1-1) was bruised by a long home run from Juan Francisco in the first before allowing another in third and three more in the fifth.
Trailing 8-2 entering the bottom of the eighth inning, the BayBears made life interesting for new Carolina skipper David Bell with a pair of runs in the eighth and two more in the ninth before accepting an 8-6 defeat to the Mudcats at Hank Aaron Stadium.
Ricardo Sosa propelled the comeback attempt with a two-run blast just to the right of straightaway center in the eighth off southpaw Camilo Vazquez to cut the BayBear deficit to 8-4. In the bottom of the ninth, Evan Frey lined a two-run double to the right field corner to knock in Mark Hallberg and Chris Rahl. Rahl has opened the season 5-for-10 with six walks, a home run, and six runs scored.
That was as close as the BayBears (4-2) would get as Bell turned to Derrik Lutz (S, 1) who retired James Skelton for the game's final out.
Zach Cozart had a big night for the Mudcats, with three RBI and a dinger in the seventh off reliever Kyler Newby. Rahl and Skelton each scored a pair of runs for the BayBears.
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