Adam went seven strong innings, allowing one run on six hits with six strikeouts. Since April 23, he took eight consecutive losses and followed that with five straight no decisions.
Sam Runion pitched the final two frames, doing it in shutout style as he notched his fifth save.
The Rocks struck first and did so quickly, scoring in the opening inning. Angel Franco singled on a slow roller that was thrown away by second baseman Adrian Sanchez, allowing Franco to move to second. A walk to Orlando Calixte was followed by smoked single to right by Cheslor Cuthbert for a 1-0 lead. After a double play ball of the bat of Matt Fields, Lane Adams stroked a groundball single through the left side for an RBI single and 2-0 advantage.
In the top of the third inning, Kevin Keyes powered a homer to right field against Wilmington starter Adam to cut the lead to 2-1.
The Rocks got around some heavy trouble in the sixth inning. Sanchez reached on a single but then was caught stealing. A double from JP Ramirez put a man in scoring position. Blake Kelso chopped a one-hopper up the middle for a base-hit but Ramirez had to hold at third with center fielder Brett Eibner playing shallow and getting to the bouncing ball quickly. The next batter in Rick Hague lined a ball right to Adams. Making the catch, Ramirez sprinted home. Adams fired a perfect strike to catcher Jose Bonilla who applied the tag to end the threat.
They added an insurance tally in the ninth inning against Jimmy Barthmaier. With one out, Franco smashed a triple up the alley in left field. Calixte then lofted a ball into short left field to bring home the run and a 3-1 Wilmington edge.
After taking the first three games, the Rocks conclude this series with the Potomac Nationals on Saturday night at 6:05 p.m. Wilmington's RHP Elisaul Pimentel (0-1, 6.28) throws against Potomac's RHP Matt Swynenberg (4-4, 5.79). Broadcast coverage begins at 5:35 p.m. as studio host Rob Cunningham brings fans the Rocks Report Pre-game Show, presented by Wawa, on 89.7 WGLS-FM and online at wgls.rowan.edu.
PEBBLES OF KNOWLEDGE:
In the first half, the Blue Rocks scored just 227 runs for a league-low 3.2 runs/game average. Despite playing two seven-inning games and posting a sum of one run between the bookend games of last week, Wilmington has scored 125 runs over its first 22 games of the second stanza for an average of 5.7 runs/game. The team that hit 31 home runs over the 70-game first half, the second-lowest total in the league, has bashed 28 through 22 games in the second half. The Blue Crew hit a league-worst .231 in the first half, but owns a .272 (209-for-769) contact clip so far this half.
For the third time in a row, a Blue Rocks starting pitcher picked up a victory. Jason Adam did the honors on Friday, Andy Ferguson notched one on Thursday night after Brooks Pounders did it on Wednesday. Pounders also had one on June 26 at Potomac. Those have been the only four wins by a starting pitching since Sugar Ray Marimon went to 4-0 with a victory against Carolina. Since Sugar's success, the team has played 34 games, going 12-22 in that time. That span began after Santiago Garrido, Greg Billo and Leondy Perez went on the shelf during a June 2-8 stretch.
Since failing to homer on June 30, the Blue Rocks had slammed 21 homers over a stretch of just 11 games before not leaving the yard on July 13.
This series with Potomac will end a stretch with 17 of 20 games against Northern Division opponents. The Rocks are 18-36 against teams from the South and 22-16 versus their brothers in the North (9-4 versus Potomac).
Thursday's result dropped the P-Nats to 0-6 at Frawley Stadium this season. During those meetings, the Blue Rocks have outscored their divisional foe, 31-8.
The Kansas City Royals announced a roster move for the Blue Rocks today. Right-hander Andrew Stueve has been sent back to Rookie Burlington, while righty Robinson Yambati has been received from Low-A Kane County. The Rookie Surprise Royals Pitcher of the Year and an Arizona League Postseason All-Star in 2010, Yambati led the AZL in wins while ranking in the loop's top six for innings pitched, ERA and strikeouts that season. He appeared in 16 games (four starts) with Low-A Kane County before his promotion, going 2-1 with a 3.22 ERA and two saves in four tries. He held lefties to a .135 average. Stueve dominated in his first Wilmington outing of the year at Lynchburg on the Fourth of July when he retired all 14 men he faced. But the Modesto, California native struggled versus Myrtle Beach on Saturday (2.2 IP, 6H, 6R, 2BB, 1K).
The Blue Rocks drew 7,444 fans on Friday night for Cowboy Monkey Rodeo. It was the fifth-largest crowd in the history of Frawley Stadium.
The win for the Rocks is their fourth in a row, matching a season-best run. They won four straight ballgames from May 20-23. In fact, both four-game winning streaks have come in the same fashion; beating Myrtle Beach in the final game of a series and then taking three-in-a-row against Potomac. The Blue Rocks have not won five straight games since they pulled off a six-game streak last season from May 19-25.
The win was Jason Adam's first since April 23 at Salem. He went 13 straight starts, eight losses and five no-decisions without a personal victory. Adam went seven innings for the victory, the fourth time he has thrown that length. The rest of the team has only accomplished that feat five times.