Johnson Stuns Seawolves

| May 21, 2011 | 0 Comments

Right-handed starting pitcher Steve Johnson threw seven shutout innings and the Baysox took an early lead as they topped the SeaWolves 6-2 Friday night. With the win, the Baysox are above .500 at 21-20 and tied for first place in the Western Division.

Left fielder Robbie Widlansky extended his RBI streak to four games as he drove in three more runs Friday after driving in four runs in the three game series with Richmond. Widlansky currently leads the team with 24 RBIs.

“A bunch of my at bats I had men on so it just makes it easy when you have a big at bat and can focus up there on getting some balls to fall and get some RBIs,” Widlansky said. “Hitting in the middle [of the order] you love the guys at the top to get on and they are hitting the ball well so it’s going well.”

The Baysox struck early against Erie pitcher Luke Putkonen for the fourth time this season with two runs in the first inning. Center fielder Xavier Avery hit a lead off double to left field and after second baseman Greg Miclat drew a walk, a Widlansky double plated both runners.

The top of Bowie’s order displayed more power with a three run third inning. Avery again hit a lead off double and moved to third base on a sacrifice bunt by Miclat. Widlansky singled to left-center field to score Avery and a walk by catcher Steve Lerud put runners on first and second. First baseman Brandon Waring then singled through the hole a shortstop and a fielding error by left fielder Bryan Pounds allowed two more runs to score on the play, putting the Baysox up 5-0.

“He [Xavier] had a good opposite field approach, had good selection at the plate and didn’t chase ball out of the strike zone,” said Manager Gary Kendall. “He stayed tall and pulled the ball the other way; he did a good job for us.”

Miclat added one more run in the bottom of the fifth inning when he hit his first home run of the season and third of his career to right field on a 3-1 pitch.

“Sometimes we get them [runs] early and then we just sit on them and it was nice to see us come back and get a couple more and then Miclat’s home run really put us over the top,” Kendall said.

The SeaWolves got two runs back against right-handed reliever Dan Klein in the top of the eighth inning, but it would not be enough. Justin Henry drew a lead off walk and Jamie Johnson moved him to third base on a single to left-center field. With Rawley Bishop batting, a passed ball allowed Henry to score and moved Johnson to second where he scored on a single to center field by Pounds.

Johnson allowed just three hits as he pitched seven scoreless innings and struck out three batters in his longest outing of the season. Klein pitched two innings in relief and allowed two runs (one earned) on two hits while striking out two. The earned run was the first allowed by Klein in six appearances with the Baysox.

“It felt good that I was able to go that deep, it’s the longest I’ve gone so far this season,” Johnson said. “I didn’t have my best stuff today but I was able to throw a lot of strikes and get a lot of outs. I got a little more consistent with my fastball as the game went on and they were swinging a lot more so I was just pumping the fastball in there and hoping they would swing.”

The Baysox, who lead the Eastern League in strikeouts with 356, struck out a season-low three times Friday night. Despite playing on short rest after a 16-inning game in Richmond Thursday night, the Baysox hitters were effective in making contact at the plate.

The alternate black jerseys with the Pitching Fish that the Baysox wear for every Friday night home game have proved to be good luck early in the season. With Fridays win, the Baysox are 4-1 when wearing the Pitching Fish jerseys.

LHP Brian Matusz (0-0, 0.00) is scheduled to make a Major League rehab appearance with the Baysox Saturday, May 21 for a game starting at 6:35 p.m. RHP Jacob Turner (1-1, 2.58) will take the mound for the SeaWolves.

The Baysox are home for a three game home stand through Sunday, May 22. The Baysox host Basketball Night with postgame fireworks Saturday, May 21, and Swashbuckling Sunday and Meet the Team Day Sunday, May 22. 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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Category: OPINION

About the Author ()

John is the publisher and editor of Eye On Annapolis. As a resident and business owner in Anne Arundel County for more than 15 years, he realized that there was something missing in terms of community news--and Eye On Annapolis was born in late spring 2009. John's background is in the travel industry as a business owner, industry speaker, and travel writer. In terms of blogging and social media, he cut his teeth with MSNBC.com.