For the second time this season, the Baysox were swept in a doubleheader by the New Britain Rock Cats. With the pair of losses, the Baysox fall to 67-54 on the season and a game behind Harrisburg for first place in the Western Division.
In the first game of the doubleheader, the Baysox were shutout for the 12th time this season as they fell 3-0 and recorded just three hits. Baysox hitters also went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position as they has a runner on third base with less than two outs in three separate innings and failed to drive them in.
Brian Dozier gave the Rock Cats the lead in the top of the third inning against right-handed starting pitcher Tim Bascom with a two-out solo home run that made the score 1-0.
In the fifth inning, the Rock Cats added another run on a two-out double to left field by Chris Cates that scored Deibinson Romero and extended the lead to 2-0.
The Rock Cats tallied one more run in the top of the sixth inning. With Joe Benson at second and two outs in the inning, Evan Bigley hit an RBI double to left field that made the score 3-0.
All three of the New Britain runs scored in the game came with two outs in the inning as Bascom struggled to finish off innings after quickly recording the first two outs.
“I really have to work on finishing innings off, I feel like I get two outs real quick and then something just pops up and quick runs score that really shouldn’t have scored,” Bascom said. “I have to work on that, but I felt pretty good all day, all my pitches were working and I was throwing strikes with all of them.”
Bascom pitched six innings and allowed three runs on seven hits while striking out six in his third loss of the season. Right-handed reliever Raul Rivero pitched a scoreless seventh inning in relief of Bascom.
The Rock Cats took another quick lead in game two and shut down the Baysox offense to win 6-1. With the double header sweep, the Rock Cats improved to 4-0 in doubleheaders against the Baysox this season. The Baysox were 6-3 against New Britain in regulation length games.
With two outs in the first inning, Benson got the scoring started with a solo home run to left field against right-handed starting pitcher Eddie Gamboa that made the score 1-0.
In the second inning, the Rock Cats added to the lead. With one out and Evan Bigley at third base, Romero hit his 11th home run of the season to left field to make the score 3-0.
The Rock Cats extended the lead in the top of the third inning. Mike Hollimon led off with a triple down the right field line and Benson walked. Gamboa then tried to pick off Benson from first base and threw the ball away. Hollimon scored on the throwing error by Gamboa to give the Rock Cats a 4-0 lead.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, the Baysox got on the board against Rock Cats starter Brett Jacobson. Second baseman Greg Miclat led off with a single to center field and right fielder Joe Mahoney was hit by a pitch. First baseman Aaron Baker, who was playing in his first game with the Baysox, then picked up his first hit in a Baysox uniform with a double to left field that scored Miclat and cut the lead to 4-1.
“It was a lot of fun playing here – the guys were great and everybody was coming and introducing themselves to me,” Baker said. “As far as the game goes, I was just trying to get my feet wet and pick up the pace of the game. The pitchers are better here and the competition is more advanced; the pitcher stuff is about the same, but they are able to locate everything a little bit better and they have a plan for attacking hitters.”
The Rock Cats struck right back in the top of the fifth inning against right-handed reliever Chorye Spoone. They loaded the bases on three straight singles by Cates, Dozier and Hollimon. Benson then reached on a fielder’s choice that allowed Cates to score from third. Left-handed reliever Pedro then entered the game with runners at first and third and, facing Chris Parmelee, he threw a wild pitch that allowed Dozier to score and make it a 6-1 game.
Gamboa pitched three innings and allowed four runs (three earned) on five hits while striking out one for his fifth loss of the season. Spoone pitched one and one-third innings and allowed two runs on four hits. Viola pitched one and two-thirds scoreless innings and allowed one hit while striking out one. Right-handed reliever Brandon Cooney pitched a perfect seventh inning for the Baysox.
The Baysox pitching staff as a whole struggled with their control Sunday afternoon as there were five wild pitches and one passed ball in the two games combined.
“We didn’t pitch particularly well,” said Manager Gary Kendall. “3-0 doesn’t sound like a lot of runs, but we didn’t make smart pitches in either game. Bascom kept us in it, but he got hurt a little with two outs and in the second game we just didn’t make pitches at all. We tried to keep the game close from a pitching stand point, but I take my hat off to them because they are a good hitting team.”
Tuesday, RHP Oliver Drake (1-3, 6.20) takes the mound as the Baysox travel to Richmond to take on the Flying Squirrels. His opponent will be LHP Eric Surkamp (8-4, 2.03).
After an off day Monday, the Baysox travel to Richmond to begin a six-game road trip that also includes three games in Trenton. The Baysox return home Monday, August 22 for a three game home stand against Akron.
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.