May 21, 2024
Annapolis, US 60 F

Boyer Boils Baysox

The Bowie Baysox were hammered Friday by the Richmond Flying Squirrels in a 14-4 loss, the Baysox second-most lopsided defeat of 2010.  Richmond cruised to victory after holding a 10-2 lead after three innings.

Baysox starter Ryohei Tanaka bore the brunt of the Squirrels assault, and left after 2.2 innings with 10 earned runs on eight hits.  It may have been the worst start of Tanaka’s career, as he collected his Eastern-League leading 11th loss of the season.

“I regret that I could not make a chance for the team to win tonight,” Tanaka said through an interpreter.  “I try to make it work.  I’ve been talking with the coaches to find out the reasons why I cannot perform the way I want to.  I’m trying to make it better.  I do not have much speed, so I would like to make the best of my control and use all four corners.”

The game was not entirely grim, though, as right fielder Joel Guzman reclaimed sole possession of the Eastern League home runs lead with his 21st and 22nd long balls of the year, breaking his previous personal best of 20 with 42 games left in the season.  First baseman Joe Mahoney continued his hot start to Double-A baseball with a home run as he went 3-for-4 at the plate.  Mahoney has put up eye-opening numbers with the Baysox in his two weeks since promotion from Single-A Frederick, batting .408 (20-49) through 13 games with four home runs and three doubles.

“I’m having a pretty good year,” Guzman said.  “I’m getting work done, trying to keep it simple.  I try to come in every day, and be positive about business.  The power’s always been there.  It’s about getting more comfortable at the plate and staying aggressive and using the whole field.  That’s what it’s been, using the whole field.  Right, left and center [field].”

“He’s had a real good year so far,” Manager Brad Komminsk said.  “Hopefully it helps him move somewhere.  He’s done a nice job.  Nolan [Reimold] had good years, [Jeff] Nettles had a good year, a lot of guys had good years here.  He’s right up there, he’s had a solid year.  Hopefully he will have a lot more [home runs] in the next six weeks or so.”

After Tanaka retired the first two batters in the top of the first inning, left fielder Thomas Neal singled on a line drive to left field.  Brandon Belt’s double to center field sent Neal across the plate for the game’s opening run as Belt moved to third on the throw.  That throw, by relay man Greg Miclat, had Belt beaten by several feet, but he charged hard into catcher Caleb Joseph who dropped the ball as he tumbled over.  Third baseman Conor Gillaspie drew a walk to put runners on the corners before designated hitter Brad Boyer blew the game wide open with a three-run homer to right-center field, giving the Squirrels a 4-0 lead.  Joseph finished the inning after being evaluated by Athletic Trainer Joe Benge, but left after the first inning, replaced by Steve Lerud.

Mahoney led off the second inning with his home run, clearing the right field wall to cut the deficit to 4-1, but the Flying Squirrels got a hold of Tanaka again in the top of the third inning.

Tanaka hit Neal to open the inning and Belt recorded his second hit on a single to left field.  Neal moved to third on a fly out and scored on Boyer’s single to left field, as Belt took second base.  Belt and Boyer both scored on a double by shortstop Sharlon Schoop, and Schoop scored on Tyler La Torre’s double to right field.  Ford recorded the last hit against Tanaka with a triple to left-center field that plated La Torre.  Left-hander Pedro Viola took the reins from Tanaka, but Nick Noonan lifted a single into center field to score Ford as the Flying Squirrels took a 10-1 lead.

Guzman shaved a run off the deficit in the bottom of the third, as he hit his first home run of the night to right field on a 2-1 pitch.

The Baysox struck again in the bottom of the fifth inning, giving the crowd for 4,882 a glimmer of hope.  Designated hitter Tyler Henson reached first on a ball that zipped between the third baseman’s legs and moved to second on a wild pitch to Guzman, who smashed a 2-0 pitch over the wall in dead center field, trimming the Richmond lead to 10-4.

After two scoreless innings, Richmond tacked on an insurance run in the eighth inning.  Belt, who entered the game with the best batting average in all of Minor League Baseball, laced a double down the right field line before taking third base on a wild pitch.  Boyer plated him for his fifth RBI of the night with a single to right field, as the Squirrels took a 11-4 lead.

The visitors erased any realistic hopes of a Baysox comeback in the top of the ninth, as reliever Brandon Cooney walked Ford and Noonan with two outs before giving up a three-run homer to Neal, who smacked the ball over the fence in left-center field to put Bowie down by 10 runs.

The Baysox went down quietly, as third baseman Ryan Adams, Henson and Guzman were retired in order to end the game a 14-4 Squirrels victory.

Bowie has two more games to try and even the series, starting Saturday at 6:35 p.m.  Saturday is Star Wars Night, one of the most eagerly anticipated events at Prince George’s Stadium, with lightsaber battles between innings by reenactors in movie-quality replica Star Wars costumes, followed by more fireworks than when Luke Skywalker blew up the Death Star.  Sunday is Football Funday Sunday, as the Baysox get geared up for the upcoming football season with former NFL players on-hand for a meet-and-greet and autographs.

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