The Bowie Baysox fell to the Richmond Flying Squirrels 4-0 Sunday night. With the loss, the Baysox fall to 66-60 on the season, and drop to third place in the Eastern League’s Western Division for the first time since May 31.
Baysox starting pitcher Pedro Viola was charged with the loss, allowing one run on four hits and three walks in 5.2 innings with six strikeouts. He did not allow a runner to reach third base until the third inning when he stranded first baseman Brandon Belt with a double play off the bat of center fielder Clay Timpner.
“He pitched great for us tonight. He definitely pitched well enough to win and we just couldn’t get anything across the board for him,” Pitching Coach Kennie Steenstra said. “Even the run he gave up was a tough run, he’s got Gillaspie up there with a base open and he decides to throw a fastball there in that situation, 2-1, it came back to bite him a little bit. You’ve got to tip your cap sometimes to the other team, they pitched well and kept us off the board. He used his change-up a little bit more, which we’ve been trying to get him to do, he did everything we asked of him.”
Richmond starter and former Baysox right-hander Felix Romero was even better than Viola in his five innings of work. He held the Baysox to four hits and a walk through five scoreless innings to earn the win.
Three of the Baysox four hits against Romero came in the bottom of the fourth inning. First baseman Joe Mahoney led off with an infield single to first base, but was thrown out attempting to steal second base for the first out. A few pitches later, Eastern League home run leader Joel Guzman lined a single to right field. Left fielder Tyler Henson lifted a ball down the right field line with two outs that bounced off the wall as Guzman pulled into third on the double, Henson’s first extra-base hit since Aug. 13.
“I’m starting to feel a little bit more comfortable at the plate,” said Henson, an Eastern League All-Star who broke out of an 0-for-19 slump with a hit in Saturday’s game. “Unfortunately, I’ve had some calls against me that I have disagreed on, so that’s kind of hurt a little bit. Overall, I feel a lot better, and hopefully I’ll be out of it soon. I’m finally just trusting myself again, I saw the ball, put a good swing on it and hit it well.”
The Baysox were unable to push Guzman across the plate as catcher Caleb Joseph was called out on strikes. One inning later, Baysox second baseman Ryan Adams was called out on strikes to end the bottom of the fifth inning and was ejected from the game.
“It’s not a real good situation to take yourself out, but you could see it coming,” Manager Brad Komminsk said. “He took that hanging breaking ball for a strike, he thought it was a ball; the last pitch I don’t know, it might have been a ball. It’s not good timing, but it happens.”
Richmond scored the first run of the game in the top of the sixth inning. Viola walked shortstop Ryan Lormand to open the inning. Lormand advanced to second on a groundout to third base and Viola recorded a strikeout for the second out of the inning. Third baseman Conor Gillaspie lined a single to left-center field to plate Lormand and give Richmond a 1-0 lead.
Right-hander Sean Gleason relieved Viola after the single and allowed a single to left fielder Sharlon Schoop. Lefty Chad Thall came on for Gleason after the base hit and struck out Timpner to end the inning.
The Squirrels scored two more runs in the top of the seventh inning. La Torre led off with a single to left field off Thall and advanced to second base when Henson could not field the ball cleanly. Designated hitter Brad Boyer grounded out, and second baseman Nick Noonan advanced La Torre with an infield single to third base.
Right-hander Bob McCrory replaced Thall with runners on the corners and one out in the inning. Lormand executed a safety squeeze, bunting a ball down the first base line. La Torre broke for home on contact and scored as Lormand was tagged out by Mahoney. Noonan advanced to second on the play.
Right fielder Thomas Neal hit a ground ball down the third base line. Baysox third baseman Brandon Waring tried to make a play on the grounder, but his throw skipped away from Mahoney at first, and Noonan scored from second base on the play. Neal was credited with an infield single and Waring was charged with an error on the play.
Richmond left-hander Andrew Sisco shut down the Baysox in three scoreless innings of relief. After allowing a single to Mahoney to lead off the bottom of the sixth inning, Sisco retired the final nine Baysox batters he faced with six strikeouts.
Raul Rivero allowed the final run in the ninth inning. The 15th pitcher the Baysox used in the three-game series, Rivero allowed a one-out double to Lormand. Lormand moved to third on groundout and scored on a single by Gillaspie to put Richmond on top 4-0.
Ronnie Ray took the hill for Richmond in the bottom of the ninth inning. The right-hander retired the Baysox in order with a pair of strikeouts and a fly out. The Baysox whiffed 14 times in the contest and 32 times in the series.
“Nothing we can do now, but play baseball,” Komminsk said. “We’ve been messing around for the last two weeks playing not very well. I guess we’ll see what we’re made of here in the next 16 games.”
The Akron Aeros come to town for four games in three days with a doubleheader on Monday at 6:05 p.m. Fans can catch the Baysox for a record-low price of one dollar on Wednesday, Aug. 25, with a coupon that can be printed out from Baysox.com.