The Baysox five game winning streak ended as they fell to the New Britain Rock Cats 4-3 at home Friday evening. With the loss, the Baysox fall to 66-52 on the season and back into second place in the Western Division as Harrisburg won their game with Trenton.
New Britain starter Logan Darnell, who was making his Double-A debut, had some success against a Baysox offense that had been on a roll lately. Bowie managed just four hits and all three of the runs they scored were unearned.
“[Darnell] had a quality start,” said Manager Gary Kendall. “He kept us at bay and has a pretty good fastball – it’s sneaky and it gets up on you pretty quick. I thought we were going to get to him, but outside of a couple walks, a bunt, and a hit batsman where we got to him for a couple RBI ground balls, he pitched a good ball game.”
The Rock Cats got the scoring started in the third inning against right-handed starting pitcher Zach Clark. With two outs, Mark Dolenc doubled to right-center field and then scored on a single to center field by Brian Dozier to give the Rock Cats a 1-0 lead.
In the sixth inning, the Baysox took the lead against Darnell. They loaded the bases with no one out when both center fielder Xavier Avery and shortstop Pedro Florimon were hit by pitches and designated hitter Bobby Stevens reached on a throwing error by catcher Chris Herrmann when he put down a sacrifice bunt. Second baseman Greg Miclat and left fielder LJ Hoes gave the Baysox the lead on back-to-back RBI ground outs. First baseman Joe Mahoney capped the scoring in the inning with an RBI single to right field to give the Baysox a 3-1 lead.
The Rock Cats answered back in the top of the seventh inning. Chris Parmelee started the inning with a double to left field and Evan Bigley singled to right-center field to put runners at the corners. Michael Hollimon followed with an RBI single to center field to score Parmelee and make it a one run ball game. Deibinson Romero laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Bigley and Parmelee into scoring position. With the next batter, Herrmann at the plate, Clark threw a wild pitch that allowed Bigley to score to tie the game. Right-handed reliever Pat Egan then came into the game to relieve Clark and the first batter he faced, Dolenc, grounded into a fielder’s choice that allowed Hollimon to score and give the Rock Cats the lead back, 4-3.
“I think I was just up a little bit,” Clark said. “It’s a little easier to hit when they are ahead and I’m behind so I think I could have done a better job being ahead and kind of putting them in a position to be defensive instead.”
Clark pitched six and one-third innings and allowed four runs on seven hits while striking out four as he was credited with his eighth loss of the season. Egan pitched one and two-thirds innings in relief of Clark and allowed just one hit while striking out one. Right-handed reliever Jose Diaz made his return to Bowie after spending the last two months with Triple-A Norfolk. He pitched a scoreless ninth inning.
The Baysox were coming off a sweep of Reading on the road and a five game winning streak that had moved them into first place in the tightly contested Western Division. The slip in Friday’s game drops them out of first place in the division, but Kendall believes the team just needs to keep putting together strong performances to stay in the hunt.
“It was a big series because they are a good ball club; they are in the hunt over there,” Kendall said. “We went out there and we competed and we were on a five-game winning streak coming into tonight, but you can’t win every night. You just want to go out there and play good defense and put some tallies on the board, it just didn’t happen for us tonight.”
Miclat stole two more bases Friday night, raising his season total to 48, just six behind Willie Harris for second-most stolen bases in a single season. Miclat now trails Eastern League stolen base leader Anthony Gose by four bags.
Saturday, LHP Tim Mike Ballard (7-1, 3.24) takes the mound for the Baysox as they take on the New Britain Rock Cats. His opponent will be RHP Bobby Lanigan (6-9, 4.82).
The Baysox are home through Sunday, Aug. 14 for a home stand that includes the Football Kickoff Party Saturday, Aug. 13 and Diamond Dig Sunday, Aug. 14. All three games of the home stand also include a fireworks display.
Baysox Baseball – We’ll Knock Your ‘Sox Off. The Baysox 19th season as the class Double-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles is underway. Parking is free at every Baysox home game and tickets are now available at www.baysox.com or by calling the Baysox box office at (301) 464-4865.