The Rocks got their four runs in unconventional fashion. In the third inning down a run, Wilmington rallied for a score. With one out, Luis Piterson reached on a single. A hit-and-run with Whit Merrifield to right field sent Piterson to third. Orlando Calixte then bounced a sharp hopper up the third baseline that third baseman Michael Mosby could only throw to first, scoring Piterson to tie the score at one.
In the fifth inning, the bottom of the order got things cooking. Juan Graterol grounded a ball through the left side for a base knock. Geulin Beltre chopped a ball up the middle that went off the glove of Frederick starter Matt Bywater and then went under the glove of shortstop Garabez Rosa. Center fielder Trent Mummey broke late to back up the play, allowing Graterol to chug into third base. With one out, Merrifield walked to load the bags. Bywater then got the hook for Andy Loomis. He plunked Calixte early in the count to bring home a tally for a 2-1 Wilmington edge.
After Frederick tied things up in the sixth inning with a solo homer from Jeremy Nowak against Wilmington starter Jason Adam, the Rocks grabbed a pair of runs in the bottom of the frame. With two outs and Brett Eibner on first base, Graterol smoked a ball down the third baseline for a double to put runners in scoring position. Shortly thereafter, a wild pitch from Loomis brought home Eibner for a 3-2 Rocks lead. With Graterol moving to third base on the errant toss, Beltre looped a ball into short right field. The second baseman Travis Adair ran out and looked at right fielder Roderick Bernadina. Unfortunately for Frederick, Bernadina did the exact same thing as the ball dropped in for an RBI base hit and a 4-2 Rocks advantage.
The Rocks continue this set with the Frederick Keys on Wednesday at 12:05 p.m. Wilmington's RHP Elisaul Pimentel (2-1, 3.81) and Frederick's LHP Trent Howard (2-6, 5.18) will throw. Broadcast coverage begins at 11:35 a.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:
After the top of the Wilmington order did all it on Monday night, it was the bottom of the order who carried the Rocks on Tuesday. Juan Graterol, Geulin Beltre and Luis Piterson went 7-for-12 with three runs and a run driven in. The first through six-hole hitters went a combined 3-for-21.
Geulin Beltre added another outfield assist to his ledger on Tuesday. He cut down Travis Adair at home plate in the second inning. He now has 16 on the season, tied for the best among outfielders in the Carolina League along with Potomac's Michael Taylor.
Jason Adam allowed a homer in the sixth inning, his 16th bomb served up this year. That number is the top mark in the Carolina League. 11 of them have come in his last nine starts.
The Blue Rocks are once again in a three-way tie for first place. They have only started a day with a share of first place for two calendar days so far this season.
The Kansas City Royals made a pair of roster moves with Wilmington today. Infielder Angel Franco has been placed on the disabled list (hamstring) retroactive to July 22. He has not played since he was lifted from the game at Myrtle Beach on July 16 in the eighth inning. His departure came after he grounded out and came up limping. The CL leader in sacrifices (14), Franco has a triple slash of .281/.346/.388 over 78 games.
In a corresponding move, the Blue Rocks have received infielder Adrian Morales from Rookie Burlington (APP). The Royals' 49th-round pick in the 2011 draft saw brief time with last year's Rocks over the season's last three games. The former University of South Carolina star was managed by former Blue Rocks skipper Darryl Kennedy with Rookie Surprise last season. He hit .323 with six doubles, four homers and 28 RBIs in 34 games for the club. With time defensively at first, second and third, he assembled a .436 on-base percentage to rank fourth in the league. The Florida native tied for second on the squad in homers and RBIs while playing on the same team as Milford, DE product Jerrell Allen. He played college ball with the Rocks' Merrifield winning the 2010 College World Series with the MVP and repeating in 2011 without him. In 11 games with this year's B-Royals, Morales hit .108 (4-for-37) and also pitched an inning.
There have been a couple magic numbers for the Blue Rocks this season. When they score four runs or more or tally 10+ hits, their record is tremendous. When scoring at least four runs, they are 33-15. When bashing 10 knocks or more, they are at 21-9 on the season.
After seeing his ERA hit a season-high 4.25 on July 3 at Frederick, Adam has been much better. He has thrown four quality starts since that time, lowering his ERA to 3.65, the best it's been since he was at 3.57 after a May 30 start at Carolina. Over his last four starts, Adam has pitched to a 1.28 ERA in 27.1 innings. He has allowed just15 hits and five walks, while striking out 22.
The luck has turned around for Adam in the win column as well. After suffering one victory and 10 losses through his first 17 starts, the Rocks ace now has two victories in his last three nods.