Three RBI from Coby Mayo, including a two-run home run, powered the Bowie Baysox to a 5-2 victory, salvaging a split in their six-game set with the Altoona Curve Sunday afternoon.
Mayo’s fifth long ball of the season – the third against the Curve and first at Prince George’s Stadium this season, came in the bottom half of the first. After Bowie right-hander Justin Armbruester worked around a pair of base runners in the top half of the frame, Cesar Prieto singled to lead-off the bottom half. Then came Mayo’s 400-foot, opposite-field blast to give the Baysox an early lead against Curve right-handed starter Jared Jones (L, 0-2), who went the first four frames of the contest.
Armbruester pitched a much more efficient second and third inning, really finding a grove. The right-hander had retired eight consecutive batters with one out in the top of the fourth. However, Altoona’s Mason Martin would end that streak with a solo home run to right-center field, cutting the Bowie lead in half at 2-1. Still, Armbruester (W, 2-1) would allow no further damage through his five frames. Drew Maggi launched a one-out double in the fifth and attempted to score on a two-out infield single, but after a bobble, Prieto was able to recover the ball at second base and throw home to nab a diving Maggi at home plate to maintain Bowie’s slender edge. Armbruester’s ERA now sits at 1.58 on the season and remains second lowest in the Eastern League, among qualifiers.
The Baysox would respond with some insurance against the Curve bullpen in the bottom of the fifth. After a one-out walk to Anthony Servideo against right-hander Matt Eckelman, three-straight two-out RBI hits delivered for Bowie. First, it was Mayo punching a single through to score Servideo for his third RBI of the game. He advanced to second on a wild pitch and came around on an RBI single from Heston Kjerstad – part of a two-hit day for Kjerstad where he reached base three times to extend his on-base streak to an Eastern League-leading 24 games. Kjerstad quickly made his way around the base paths, as John Rhodes laced an RBI double to the wall in left, extending his on-base streak to 11 games and providing Bowie with a 5-1 edge.
The Curve threatened on a few occasions through the late innings. Right-hander Carlos Tavera entered in the sixth for the Baysox and walked a pair, striking out three. However, a passed ball on the third strike to Fabricio Macias allowed him to reach and load the bases. A wild pitch from Tavera plated Mason Martin from third to make it a 5-2 game. However, Tavera would force a weak line out from Maggi to end the inning.
Altoona loaded the bases again in the eighth with two singles off Tavera, before right-hander Tyler Burch entered and walked the first batter he faced. Burch would bear down and strikeout Claudio Finol to end the inning. Right-hander Wandisson Charles (S, 2) pitched a 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth to secure victory for Bowie.
The win improves Bowie’s record to 12-25. The Baysox will have an off day on Monday and travel to Akron, where they open a six-game set on Tuesday against the RubberDucks. First pitch on Tuesday is set for 11:05 a.m. ET.