The Bowie Baysox were shut out 5-0 by the Richmond Flying Squirrels Wednesday morning as Richmond designated hitter Roger Kieschnick hammered Baysox starter Ryohei Tanaka with two two-run home runs. The loss drops the Baysox to 16-18, as they lie five games behind the Altoona Curve in fourth place in the Eastern League Western Division.
Tanaka was charged with all five runs as he gave up nine hits through five and two-thirds innings. It is the fourth consecutive loss for the Japanese hurler, who now stands at 2-4 with a 4.24 ERA.
“He wasn’t struggling that bad,” said catcher Steve Lerud, who made his first appearance behind the plate for Bowie. “A few pitches here and there and it’s a different ballgame. Obviously, he made a mistake to Kieschnick on the 3-1 pitch [in the first inning], probably could’ve been a little bit more fine there. Overall, he battled for not having his best stuff, and that’s what you want to see from your starter.”
“I think he had pretty good action to his off-speed pitches, but his command just wasn’t as sharp today as it has been,” said Pitching Coach Kennie Steenstra. “He left a couple pitches up and pitched behind a little bit more than he usually does.”
The Baysox notched eight hits in the game, but struggled in clutch situations. Bowie left the bases loaded in three different innings and in total left 15 runners on base as they went 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position.
“It’s not easy to hit, first of all, and you put pressure on yourself when guys are out in scoring position,” said Manager Brad Komminsk. “It’s not the easiest thing to do, you’ve just got to relax and let it happen. Some days it works, and some days it doesn’t.”
Richmond shortstop Brandon Crawford got aboard in the first inning with a broken-bat single to right field that set up Kieschnick’s two-out, two-run blast. It was the second consecutive game in which Kieschnick hit a two-run shot in the first inning. He followed with another two-run dinger in the fifth inning, that time bringing left fielder Thomas Neal around the bases with him. Kieschnick has hit three home runs this season, all in the last two games against the Baysox.
The Baysox were out-hit 9-8, but second baseman Ryan Adams went 2-for-4 at the plate and extended his team-best hitting streak to 10 games, matching the marks set by Brandon Pinckney and Mike Costanzo in 2009. Adams’s streak is the longest since Lou Montanez’s 2008 mark of 19 straight games from July 17-August 4. Montanez fell just one game shy of the club record, a 20-game hitting streak, set by Jeff Fiorentino in 2006.
The Baysox are back in action Thursday at 7:05 p.m. for a four-game series against the Erie SeaWolves. Right-hander Tim Bascom (2-1, 2.78) will take the hill for Bowie on Thursday to face Erie’s L.J. Gagnier (3-0, 2.83 ERA). This weekend’s homestand includes the Baysox signature fireworks celebration on Friday and Saturday, presented by Educational Systems Federal Credit Union. Sunday is the Baysox annual Bark in the Park event, when fans are welcome to bring their dog to the game on a leash and with some proof of current rabies vaccination. Bark in the Park features dog-related promotions and freebies as well as a special visit from Clifford the Big Red Dog, presented by Maryland Public Television.