April 22, 2024
Annapolis, US 46 F

Baysox Split Double Header

The Bowie Baysox split a doubleheader with the Akron Aeros Tuesday night at Prince George’s Stadium, winning the first seven-inning game 1-0 before falling in the second 6-3.  The pair of games leaves the Baysox at 68-61 on the season, half a game behind Harrisburg for second place and the final playoff spot in the Eastern League’s Western Division.  The Baysox hold a 10-7 edge in their season series against Akron, and have won the series for the first time in over 10 years.

The first game picked up in the third inning after being suspended in the wake of heavy rains Monday night.  The Baysox were held hitless through 3.1 innings before designated hitter Ryan Adams broke the drought with a single to right field in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Baltimore Orioles reliever Jim Johnson picked up where Monday’s starter, Wynn Pelzer, left off and pitched the fourth and fifth innings.  He retired the Aeros in order in the first inning with 11 pitches.  Johnson personally recorded the first out of the fifth inning before giving up an infield single to Juan Apodaca, a line drive that caromed off his glove towards shortstop.  Tim Fedroff flied out to left field before Johnson struck out Jordan Henry for the last out, finishing with three strikeouts in his two shutout innings.

“Today he wanted to concentrate more on his fastball,” said Baysox Pitching Coach Kennie Steenstra.  “I really thought he did a better job with that today.  He had a better plane to his fastball, got on top a little better and got some better sink.  He did throw some nice curveballs, and a couple nice change-ups, but he was really trying to get the feel for his sinker and I thought he did a nice job with that tonight.

“He looked good tonight, and if wants to come back here tomorrow or the next day and throw a couple more innings, that’s fine with me.  He can help us out.”

Baysox right-hander Brandon Cooney pitched a quick sixth inning, giving up a single to Jason Kipnis before Lonnie Chisenhall grounded into a double play and Jerad Head popped out to end the inning.

Cooney was handed his third win of the season when Adams hit a solo home run off Chen-Chang Lee to left-center field in the bottom of the sixth inning for a 1-0 Baysox lead on Adams’ career-high 13th long ball of the year.

“We faced [Lee] a lot last year and this year, so I kind of had an approach going up there,” Adams said.  “He has a good fastball, I knew he was going to challenge me with it, so I cheated a little bit.  I was looking fastball and he threw it middle-in.”

Eastern League All-Star Pedro Beato entered in the top of the seventh inning and made short work of the Aeros, retiring the side in order to record his 16th save of the year, tying him for third-most in the Eastern League.

Right-hander Ryohei Tanaka took the loss for the Baysox in game two, allowing five runs on seven hits through 4.0 innings; four of the runs were unearned.

“He pitched pretty well,” Steenstra said.  “I would have liked to have seen what would have happened that one inning if catch those two balls, then those things kind of opened up on him a little bit and the big blow was the three-run homer.  He gave us what we needed tonight, we needed some innings out of him.”

The second game was scoreless through the first two innings, but things began to unravel for Bowie in the top of the third inning.  Akron shortstop Cristo Arnal reached first with one out after his ground ball slipped past shortstop Greg Miclat for an error.  Adams was next to be charged with an error, after he dropped a potential double play ball on Fedroff’s grounder, leaving Arnal and Fedroff both safe at first and second with one out.  Kipnis drove Arnal across the plate with a single to right field that left runners on the corners for Chisenhall’s three-run home run over the wall in left-center field, giving Akron a 4-0 lead without any earned runs.

The Baysox scored their first run in the bottom of the third inning.  Right fielder Jonathan Tucker, who saved a run in the first inning by throwing out Fedroff at home plate for his seventh outfield assist of the year, hit a one-out double down the left-field line.  He advanced to third on center fielder Xavier Avery’s single to left field and scored when Avery stole second base, taking off running when Kipnis failed to catch the throw from Apodaca.

Akron re-established their four-run lead in the top of the fourth inning, when Arnal hit his first home run of the year on a solo shot to right field that put the Aeros ahead 5-1.  His home run was the 21st that Tanaka has given up this season, and the only earned run Akron scored in the game.

The Aeros scored again on a strange play in the top of the fifth inning.  Head hit a single to center with one out off Bowie reliever Raul Rivero.  He moved to second as Beau Mills grounded out to first base, but kept running past second.  First baseman Joe Mahoney threw to Miclat at second base and the shortstop threw to third base, but his throw struck Head’s shoulder and rolled into the Akron dugout, giving the runner a free pass across the plate as the Aeros claimed a 6-1 lead.

“I think the runner thought it was the last out of the inning,” Miclat said, “so he was walking off the field and got caught in between second and third.

Bizarre play continued in the bottom of the sixth inning, when Akron reliever Connor Graham took the hill in relief.  He walked Mahoney, struck out designated hitter Joel Guzman, walked third baseman Brandon Waring and struck out left fielder Tyler Henson to put runners on first and second with two outs.  Catcher Steve Lerud drew a walk to load the bases before Tucker and Miclat drew free passes to push Mahoney and Waring across the plate to cut the Akron lead to 6-3.

Reliever Omar Aguilar, a little league teammate of Baysox pitcher Eddie Gamboa from their days in Merced, Calif., took over to control the damage after the fifth walk and the Baysox left the bases loaded when Avery flied out to right field.

Left-hander Chad Thall split the top of the seventh with Rivero as they combined to hold the score at 6-3, but the sixth-inning rally was as close as the Baysox would come, as Adams, Mahoney and Guzman were retired in order to end the game in the bottom of the seventh inning.

The Baysox and Aeros conclude their series Wednesday at 7:05 p.m., and fans can catch the action for a record-low price of one dollar with a coupon that can be printed out from Baysox.com.  The Baysox then hit the road for four days in New Britain before returning home for a four-game set with the Altoona Curve.

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