Clark Aces Aeros

| May 12, 2011 | 0 Comments

Right-handed starting pitcher Zach Clark fell one out short of throwing a complete game and the Baysox scored four runs with two outs in the third inning as they topped Akron 6-2 to win their third straight game. The win moves the Baysox to 18-16 on the season and keeps them atop the Western Division.

After lasting only five innings and allowing six earned runs in his last start, Clark came out strong Thursday night. Clark retired the first 14 batters he faced on the way to throwing 123 pitches and allowing just two earned runs on three hits.

“All I wanted to do was make sure I got ahead and do the things that we talked about – get the first guy out, throw strikes,” Clark said. “I didn’t have a great outing the outing before so I just wanted to bounce back. I just made sure I stayed on top of guys, I didn’t want to walk anybody, I wanted to get the first pitch across.”

After two scoreless innings to start the game, the Baysox blew the game open in the bottom of the third inning. Facing right-handed pitcher Joe Gardner, designated hitter Billy Rowell and third baseman Carlos Rojas walked to start the inning. Center fielder Xavier Avery then hit an infield single down the first base line to load the bases. Second baseman Greg Miclat grounded into a force out at second and Rowell scored on the play. With runners on the corners, left fielder Robbie Widlansky popped out to third base for the second out.

With catcher Steve Lerud at the plate, things got crazy. Gardner attempted to pickoff Miclat at first and caught him in a rundown. Miclat broke for second and first baseman Jared Goedert dropped the ball while attempting to throw to second. The result of the play was Miclat safe at second and Rojas scampered home to score the second run of the inning. Lerud drew a walk and right fielder Ronnie Welty was hit by a pitch to load the bases again. Shortstop Pedro Florimon drew a walk that pushed Miclat across for the third run of the inning. Kyle Landis entered the game to replace Gardner and allowed a two-RBI single to first baseman Brandon Waring to put the final tally at 5-0. Rowell, up for the second time that inning, struck out to end the inning.

“It was definitely a big inning,” Waring said. “I was the last out of the previous inning so you’re not really expecting to get up in that inning, but things started happening and they put in a new pitcher and he left one over the plate, first pitch, and luckily I put it in the outfield.”

Akron got one run back in the top of the fourth inning when Goedert hit a two-out home run to right field on a 2-2 count for the Aeros first hit. The Baysox extended the lead to 6-1 in the bottom of the seventh against Chen Lee. Lerud doubled to center field and Florimon hit a two out single to center field that plated Lerud.

Clark returned to pitch the ninth inning, but allowed two runners to reach base and was unable to finish the game. Clark struck out Donnie Webb to open the frame, but then allowed Jordan Henry to reach on a single up the middle and Juan Diaz reached on a fielding error by Miclat to put runners on first and second. Clark struck out Goedert, the last batter he faced, to record the second out of the inning. Right-handed reliever Raul Rivero replaced Clark and surrendered a double to Matt McBride that scored Henry to make the score 6-2. Rivero struck out John Drennen to end the game.

Florimon has been on a tear at the plate the last three games. He has gone 5-for-11 with three runs, a triple, a home run, and five RBIs. Prior to that, Florimon had been hitless in two consecutive games.

“He’s putting his work in,” said Manager Gary Kendall. “He’s in the cage with [Hitting Coach] Denny [Hocking] all the time, making adjustments up there. He’s a tough out from both sides of the plate right now. He looks like a different guy from the one who was here last year – he got a lot of confidence in his offense and defense.”

Friday, RHP Wynn Pelzer (1-3, 3.60) takes the mound for the Baysox as they continue their series with Akron. His opponent will be RHP Austin Adams (3-2, 2.76).

The Baysox are at home through May 15 for a seven-game home stand that includes Ghostbusters Night Friday, May 13, Fairy Tale Night Saturday, May 14, and Bark in the Park Sunday, May 15. For more information on Baysox promotions and theme nights, visit www.baysox.com.

Baysox Baseball – We’ll Knock Your ‘Sox Off. The Baysox 19th season as the class Double-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles is underway. Parking is free at every Baysox home game and tickets are now available at www.baysox.com.

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