Written by Michael Williams
The Norfolk Tides split a doubleheader with Charlotte Thursday night, dropping game one 3-2 before winning game two, 6-1.
In the nightcap, Eddie Gamboa (1-0) was impressive in his Triple-A debut, as he allowed two hits over five shutout innings. Gamboa walked one and struck out three as he became the second Tide to earn a win in his Triple-A debut this week. Rick Zagone also accomplished the feat, as he also earned a win on Sunday afternoon at Indianapolis.
Joe Mahoney had a big game for the Tides, as he singled in the third and belted a bases-clearing double in the fourth. The Tides worked six walks off of Knights pitching, with five of those runners coming around to score.
Ronny Paulino added two singles and an RBI, and he's now hitting .290 in eight games with the Tides this season.
In game one, Charlotte starter Terry Doyle (2-3) went the distance as he allowed two runs on five hits. Doyle surrendered two runs on a second inning double by Paulino, but he faced the minimum over the final five frames to earn his second win of the season.
Norfolk led the contest 2-1 in the fifth inning, but back-to-back RBI singles by Justin Greene and Jim Gallagher provided Doyle with all the run support he would need.
Jason Berken (0-1) suffered the loss, as he allowed three runs on seven hits in five innings of work. Berken struggled with his control as he issued a season-high five walks, two of which came around to score.
Stu Pomeranz tossed two shutout innings in relief in his first appearance for Norfolk since being optioned from Baltimore. Pomeranz, who struck out two in the contest, has now tossed 25.1 shutout innings with 37 strikeouts between Bowie, Norfolk and Baltimore this season.
The Curve (16-22) completed their sweep of the Baysox (15-24) Thursday evening as they topped the Baysox 3-2 to hand Bowie their sixth consecutive loss.
Bowie recorded at least one hit in each of the first five innings, but struggled to string hits together, managing just one run from those six hits. In five of the innings, the team got one runner on base, but was not able to record another hit to help push him around the bases.
“I would have liked to put some hits together, but it just didn’t happen for us,” said Manager Gary Kendall. “We are going to keep working and hopefully we can put one of those innings together where we get three, four, five hits in a row and get a little space. We have only managed to get a run here and there and that can be frustrating.”
Despite a season-high six game losing streak and being on the wrong end of the first sweep of the season, Kendall has confidence that the team will keep their spirits up and keep battling.
“It’s frustrating when you go in this tailspin and lose six in a row and you wonder when your next win is going to come,” Kendall said. “We had a meeting with the guys today and we talked about just going out there and playing good baseball, going out there and doing good things. The guys are on board and there’s effort and they are trying. We are just going to keep battling. I am not too concerned about our record, but I am concerned about seeing us play good baseball.”
Making his season debut after starting the season on the Disabled List, right-handed starting pitcher Oliver Drake pitched six innings and allowed one run on three hits while striking out six batters.
“I had been down in Florida for a while and I was just excited to get back here and start my season,” Drake said. “I felt healthy; I have been feeling healthy for the past couple weeks and tonight was no different. I felt good out there. I was able to throw all my pitches for strikes and I was happy with it.”
The Curve jumped out to another early lead against Drake in the top of the third inning. After two hitless innings to start the game, Drake surrendered a lead off solo home run to right field to Elevys Gonzalez that made the score 1-0.
The Baysox tied the game right back in the bottom of the third inning against Altoona starter Phil Irwin. Third baseman Zelous Wheeler hit a one out double to left field and moved to third on a ground out by designated hitter Travis Adair. Right field Steven Bumbry plated Wheeler when he doubled to right field to tie the game 1-1.
Altoona took the lead back in the top of the seventh inning against left-handed reliever Chris Petrini. Miles Durham hit a one out double to right field and Gonzalez continued to haunt the Baysox as he followed with a double to left field that plated Durham and gave Altoona the 2-1 lead.
Bowie again answered with a run to tie the score in the bottom of the seventh. Center fielder LJ Hoes hit a lead off double to center field and moved to third base after a sacrifice bunt by first baseman Brandon Waring. Shortstop Manny Machado was then hit by a pitch and catcher Caleb Joseph brought Hoes home with a single to right field that made tied the score 2-2. Jhonathan Ramos replaced Irwin on the mound to finish the inning.
Altoona took the lead right back in the top of the eighth inning. Robbie Grossman drew a lead off walk and with one out, Tony Sanchez reached on a fielding error by Machado that allowed Grossman to move to third base. Matt Curry plated Grossman on a sacrifice fly to center field that made the score 3-2.
The Curve added an insurance run in the top of the ninth inning against right-handed relief pitcher Pat Egan when Durham launched a solo home run to center field to make the score 4-2.
Petrini pitched two innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on two hits while striking out one batter and walking one in the loss. Egan pitched the ninth inning for the Baysox and allowed one run on one hit while walking one batter.
Ramos earned the win for the Curve, pitching two and two-thirds hitless innings.
The Keys lost a shocker in the bottom of the ninth, allowing three runs to score to give the Potomac Nationals a 10-9 walk-off win at Pfitzner Stadium.
The Keys had rallied after trailing 6-2 in the fifth inning to eventually take a 9-7 lead in the seventh, but it was all for naught as Potomac scored three times in the bottom of the ninth to stun the Keys.
It’s the third consecutive loss for the Keys who fall to 12-24 on the year, the first time they’ve fallen 12 games below .500 all year.
David Walters is charged with the blown save and loss, as he goes to 0-3 on the year and now a 6.28 ERA.
For the Keys, they trailed 6-2 entering the fifth inning and 7-4 entering the sixth. At that point, five of the Nationals’ seven runs were unearned. But the Keys started to mount their comeback in the sixth, getting an RBI from Johnny Ruettiger to cut the deficit to two at 7-5. Ruettiger went 6-for-6 on the night with two RBI and a stolen base.
The next inning, the Keys scored four times to take a 9-7 lead. They pounced on reliever Shane McCatty, as he faced four batters in the inning and failing to record an out. Matt Sweeney and Adam Davis lead the inning off with back-to-back walks. Rosa singled to bring home the first run. A throwing error then from McCatty, on a simple throw to first from the pitcher’s mound brought home the Keys’ second run to tie the score at 7.
Two batters later, Ruettiger got his second RBI to give the Keys the lead. Then Aaron Baker forced home a run after he was walked with the bases loaded.
Yet the comeback wasn’t enough to bring the Keys the win as Potomac scored three times in the ninth against David Walters to win the game.
Randolph Oduber singled to lead off the ninth and two batters later, Blake Kelso got on board to represent the tying run. Two batters later, with two outs, Justin Bloxom got the first run home when he singled, and then the next batter, David Freitas, hit a two-RBI single into left field to win it for Potomac.
Despite connecting on a single game high four home runs, the Delmarva Shorebirds (18-21) dropped game one of the road trip 13-11 to the Hagerstown Suns (22-15) on Thursday night at Municipal Stadium. The 11 runs scored is the second highest total for Delmarva this season. The back-and-forth affair included five lead changes.
Four Shorebirds players had multiple hits including Jason Esposito, who went 3-for-5 with four runs-batted in.
The Shorebirds hit their first home run in seven games to take a 1-0 lead in the first. Nicky Delmonico blasted his third homer of the year over the right-center field wall.
The Suns evened the score in the bottom of the first when Cutter Dykstra hit a solo homer to lead off the inning. Shorebirds starter Zach Davies walked the next two batters. Later in the frame, Adrian Nieto and Brett Newsome hit back-to-back RBI singles to give the Suns a 3-1 lead. Caleb Ramsey added an RBI on a grounder towards the second base bag.
In the second, Brenden Webb clobbered his third homer of the season to right field to trim the deficit to 4-3.
The Suns added two runs in the second to build a 6-3 lead.
In the third, Kyle Hoppy, who was added to the roster before the game, launched his first professional home run over the right field wall to cut the deficit to 6-4.
Matt Skole delivered a sacrifice fly RBI in the fourth to extend the Suns lead to 7-4.
Suns reliever Christian Meza retired the first two batters of the fifth inning before walking three straight hitters to load the bases. Then, Jason Esposito hit a grand slam over the left field wall to give the Shorebirds an 8-7 lead. It was his first career home run.
In the bottom of the fifth, the see-saw battle continued as the Suns added two runs to build a 9-8 lead.
The Shorebirds grabbed the lead back in the sixth inning on run-scoring hits by Hoppy and Delmonico.
The Suns exploded for four runs in the seventh to take a 13-10 lead. Jason Martinson capped the inning with a two-run triple to the corner in left field.
The Shorebirds added a run in the eighth inning on a sacrifice fly by Delmonico to score Mychal Givens, which cut the deficit to 13-11. Delmonico finished with three RBIs.
Greg Holt earned the win in 2.1 innings of relief for Hagerstown while Jesse Beal was tagged with the loss. Beal surrendered four hits and five earned runs over two innings.
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