The Altoona Curve beat the Bowie Baysox 12-3 on Sunday, denying the Baysox a savory sweep of the Eastern League’s best team. The Baysox went .500 over their six-game road trip and stand at 39-36 after the loss, which keeps them in second place in the Western Division, 10.0 games behind Altoona.
Baysox starter, left-handed pitcher Nate Nery took the loss in his second Double-A game, after giving up seven runs (one earned) off nine hits through 6.0 innings. The game was a sloppy affair as the Baysox accounted for four of the game’s seven errors, which the Curve overcame by out-hitting Bowie 16-7, matching the Akron Aeros’ April 25 performance for the most hits recorded against the Baysox staff this season.
The Baysox opened up a 2-0 lead right away in the top of the first inning. Right fielder Jonathan Tucker opened the game with a grounder to third base, where Curve third baseman Josh Harrison couldn’t handle the ball, allowing Tucker to safely reach first base. From there, Tucker stole second for his team-best 14th stolen bag of the year and he raced to third base as catcher Hector Gimenez’s throw to catch him whizzed into center field. Baysox second baseman Ryan Adams then drove a single into left field that plated Tucker. Third baseman Tyler Henson sent Adams to third with a single up the middle and designated hitter Joel Guzman sent Adams across the plate with a single to right field, his 51st RBI of the season.
The Curve quickly responded with a bottom of the first that closely resembled the top half. Altoona shortstop Chase d’Arnaud reached first on Henson’s fielding error at third base to open the inning and moved to second base when center fielder Gorkys Hernandez singled to left field. D’Arnaud and Hernandez attempted a double steal and Baysox catcher Steve Lerud’s throw to catch them sailed into the outfield as they ran on, with d’Arnaud scoring and Hernandez settling at third base. Nery struck two batters out, before another Henson fielding error allowed Hernandez to score off second baseman Jordy Mercer’s ground ball. Gimenez hit a single into left field that put runners on the corners, before designated hitter Shelby Ford plated Mercer with a double to left field, giving the Curve a 3-2 edge after one inning.
Altoona gave itself some breathing room in the bottom of the second inning, after Harrison hit a ball deep to left-center field that bounced over the wall for a ground-rule double. First baseman Matt Hague reached first on a fielding error by his Baysox counterpart, Brandon Waring, before Mercer smashed the first pitch he saw over the left field wall for a three-run home run that put the Curve up 6-2.
The Baysox shaved a run off the deficit in the top of the fifth inning. Center fielder Danny Figueroa hit a one-out single to center field and Adams induced another Harrison fielding error that sent Figueroa all the way home to score and left Adams at second base with the Baysox down 6-3.
Any help that run might have given the Baysox was erased in the bottom of the seventh inning as Nery gave up a pair of doubles to Harrison and Hague and left the mound after Harrison scored to make it 7-3. Right-handed reliever Josh Perrault came on to relieve Nery and promptly gave up a single to Mercer that put Hague on third base. Gimenez hit a grounder to third base that Henson gathered and threw to Lerud, who tagged Hague out at the plate for the first out. Perrault then induced Ford to hit a fly out to Caleb Joseph in left field before he struck out right fielder Miles Durham to escape the inning.
In the eighth inning, the Curve crushed any realistic hopes of a Baysox comeback as they led the inning off with six consecutive hits off Perrault and a sacrifice fly that sent five runs across the plate and put the Baysox in a dire 12-3 hole.
Bowie couldn’t do much with its final three outs, as Joseph hit a single to left before Waring, shortstop Greg Miclat and Lerud were retired in order.
The Baysox return to Bowie on Monday, June 28, for seven games against the Erie SeaWolves and Akron Aeros. The series with Erie includes Daddy/Daughter Date Night on Wednesday, June 30. Fathers and their daughters can get two reserved tickets and two hot dogs for $20, with additional tickets available for $10 each.
The Aeros roll in to town during the Baysox All-American Weekend, featuring fireworks shows on July 2, 3 and 4. Saturday, July 3, is Stress Less Saturday, with a chance to win a family vacation courtesy of Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Sunday, July 4, is the Baysox Independence Day Celebration, with a spectacular extended fireworks show and an auction of special stars-and-stripes Baysox jerseys that will benefit AMVETS.