The Baysox avoided the sweep and earned their 52nd win of the year after beating the Reading Fightin Phils 6-4 Wednesday afternoon. The Baysox had lost the first two games of the series due to errors and a struggling bullpen, but the pitching staff held strong to preserve the lead after the sixth inning. After a 2.2 innings of relief by Mychal Givens, Andrew Triggs came in and shut the door giving him his ninth save of the year.
Entering today’s game, the Baysox and Altoona Curve were tied for first place and at risk of surrendering their outright first place lead for the first time since June 25.
In the first two games of this series, Reading had jumped to an early lead in the first inning. Reading had scored two runs in both the Friday and Saturday night losses. The Fightin Phils continued the trend with a two RBI double by Brock Stassi down the right field line off Baysox starter Mikey O’Brien. Stassi’s two RBIs boosted his total to 61 on the year, which leads the Eastern League.
Four errors in last night’s game were a major contributor in the Baysox loss. The Baysox have already committed 24 errors in 19 games this month. Errors hurt the Baysox again early in the top of the first after an Art Charles hard single to right. Quincy Latimore committed a fielding error when he bobbled the ball in the outfield and allowed Rene Garcia to score from second making it 3-0.
Before today’s game, Fightin Phils starter Zach Eflin hadn’t pitched for Reading since June 29 at Portland. Eflin had spent the month of July pitching for Team USA in the Pan Am Games. Eflin pitched 4.1 innings and gave up nine hits including a solo shot to Corban Joseph in the bottom of the fourth inning. Joseph provided the Baysox with their first run of the game and has now homered in back-to-back contests.
Like Joseph last night, Drew Dosch hit his first home run as a member of the Baysox in the bottom of the fifth inning. Dosch, who had been struggling since being called up from Fredrick, hit a two run home run off Eflin to tie the game at 3-3. After hits by both Trey Mancini and Joseph in the same inning, Brandon Snyder continued his hot streak and broke the tie with an RBI double giving the Baysox the first lead of the game. Tom Windle replaced Eflin, but Johnny Ruettiger joined the hit parade in the bottom of the fifth with a RBI single up the middle. David Freitas provided the final run of the inning for the Baysox with a bases loaded RBI groundout that gave Bowie a 6-3 lead.
O’Brien made his first career start against the Fightin Phils and his fourth start of the year for the Baysox. After a rocky start allowing three runs in the first, O’Brien retired the next 13 batters he faced. O’Brien finished with 5.1 innings pitched and he was charged with four runs (three earned) on seven hits and earned his second win. O’Brien was replaced by Givens in the sixth after allowing a runner to reach third with only one out. Reading went on to cut the lead to only two after a sacrifice fly by Garcia but that was all the runs the Fightin Phils scored.
Even with a win today, The Baysox have lost consecutive series’, but look to win in the following road trip. Bowie departs Thursday for a six game road trip featuring three games in Harrisburg and three against Akron. The Baysox turn to the young arm of Joe Gunkel (3-2, 3.04 ERA) Thursday.
Baysox Baseball – We’ll Knock Your ‘Sox Off. The Baysox 2015 season, their 23rd as the class Double-A Affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, is underway at Prince George’s Stadium. Come see some of the top Orioles prospects play here first. To keep up with Baysox news during the season, visit baysox.com.