Rodriguez Follows Suit In Another Shutout Win
LAKEWOOD, NJ-- The starting pitchers for the Asheville Tourists are attempting to one up each other and it all seems to be working out in everyone's favor, except for their opponents. Sunday afternoon, it was Helmis Rodriguez's turn to take the mound and he had quite a pair of pitching performances to follow. The Coloncito, Venezuela native did just that as the Tourists shutout the Lakewood BlueClaws for the second day in a row, this time 2-0.
On Friday, Sam Howard went seven innings, allowed just two hits, and only one run in an Asheville win over Delmarva. On Saturday, Zach Jemiola tossed a nine-inning complete game shutout over Lakewood. Sunday the spotlight was on Rodriguez and the Tourists lefty went seven, did not give up a run, and allowed just two hits; both ground ball singles on the infield. An interesting side note in this game was that Rodriguez faced off against his twin brother, Herlis; an outfielder for the BlueClaws. Helmis held Herlis hitless in three at-bats, including a strikeout looking on one of his best curveballs of the day.
James Lomangino pitched a perfect eighth and Josh Michalec followed with a perfect ninth; notching his sixth save of the season. Rodriguez ran his record to 3-0 on the year and now sports a sparkling 2.02 ERA. Asheville has not allowed a run in their last 21.2 innings of play.
As for the other facets of the game, Asheville managed just one hit through the first five innings, but ended up with seven when it was all said and done. The Tourists took a 1-0 lead by manufacturing a run in the third. Omar Carrizales, who finished with two singles and two walks, reached base with one out. He promptly stole second, took third on a balk, and scored on Forrest Wall's sacrifice fly.
The Tourists made it 2-0 by plating a key insurance run in the eighth. Again Carrizales was involved. This time the outfielder lined a single into centerfield plating Kevin Padlo from third. Defensively, the Tourists went error free for the second straight game; a Tourists first this year.
Asheville is now 4-1 on their current road trip and matched a season-best three game winning streak following the Sunday win. The series continues on Monday night with the first pitch slated for 6:35pm.