The righty cruised through his last seven innings of work. He faced one man over the minimum, allowing just two hits and one walk in that time frame, while striking out four Keys swingers.
There was doubt in the second inning, however, whether Pimentel would make it through the ballgame, let alone go all nine frames. He faced a bases loaded, nobody out jam in the second inning with the game scoreless. Michael Flacco poked a sacrifice fly to right to bring home the game's first run. Moments later, Garabez Rosa bounced into a 5-4-3 double play to extinguish the rally and keep the game closed. The Rocks offense took over from that point on, to allow Pimentel to secure his third win in a Wilmington uniform.
Trailing 1-0 in the second, the Rocks exploded for three runs. Matt Fields got on with a walk. Lane Adams then grounded a ball to the left side that was fielded by Frederick starter Trent Howard. Howard elected to go to second and had plenty of time to make a good throw but chucked a bouncer down to second base that went into center field as Fields went to third. With one out, Juan Graterol rolled an infield single to the left side to tie the game at one. Geulin Beltre then fisted a ground rule double down the right field line to score Adams for a 2-1 Wilminton lead. A deep ground ball to short from Adrian Morales allowed Graterol to trot home with the Rocks third run.
Orlando Calixte singled to start the third inning and then stole second base. With two outs, Adams blooped a single to right to score another run and cap the scoring.
The Rocks finish this series with the Frederick Keys on Thursday at 7:05 p.m. Wilmington's RHP Matt Ridings (2-1, 3.04) and Frederick's RHP Dylan Bundy (4-3, 2.98) will be the starting pitchers. Broadcast coverage begins at 6:35 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:
With the win, the Blue Rocks are guaranteed a share of first place come Thursday morning. They have only started a day with a share of first place for three calendar days so far this season.
Scoring four runs or more has been the magic number for the Blue Rocks this season. When scoring at least four runs, they are 34-15.
On the other hand, they pulled out a victory when they only had five base hits. The Blue Rocks are now 5-24 when they have five pokes or less.
Pimentel's masterpiece was the first nine-inning complete game effort since Chris Dwyer did it for the Blue Rocks on June 13 at Winston-Salem back in 2010. However, that game was a suspended contest that was later finished at Frawley Stadium. The last true, clean nine-inning complete game was done by Rowdy Hardy back on August 19, 2007 at Lynchburg. The longest outing by any Blue Rock starter this year came from Jason Adam when he went 7.2 innings vs. Carolina on April 18.
With a hit in his sixth straight game, Juan Graterol season-long contact clip stayed at .333. That includes a .422 (19-for-45) showing this month with an OPS of .968. He entered his seventh professional season as a .256 career hitter with an OPS of .619. In addition to his offensive prowess, when Graterol catches the Rocks are 11-5 and boast a 3.25 ERA. The team owns a 4.13 ERA when anyone other than Graterol catches.
The Blue Rocks have only made two total errors in two of their last 13 games. They are 8-5 in that span. In the eleven games they have not made an error in that timeframe, they are 8-3.
After their seventh home win in eight games, they are now a winning ballclub at 17-16. They have only been a winning squad for four total days on the calendar and one of those days was a scheduled day off.