Woodbridge, VA - In a low scoring affair, the Wilmington Blue Rocks (18-20) found a way to win the series opener against the Potomac Nationals (18-19) by the score of 2-0 Monday night at Pftizner Stadium. RHP Scott Blewett (2-3) dominated on the mound for Wilmington with seven scoreless innings and allowed just three hits to earn the victory. With the win, it extends the Blue Rocks winning streak to a season-high four games.
The game would start as a scoreless stalemate as Blewett and Potomac starter RHP Joan Baez (1-5) exchanged zeroes on the board. Through the first three innings, the P-Nats pushed a runner into scoring position, but Blewett was able to strand the runners on the base path. In the fifth inning, Wilmington broke the scoreless tie when Cody Jones led the frame off with a triple. Nathan Esposito delivered with a productive out and scored Jones on a grounder to second base to give the Blue Crew the 1-0 lead.
In the sixth, the Rocks capitalized on a defensive miscue by Potomac. With a runner at second base and one out, Wander Franco singled on a ground ball to the shortstop Edwin Lora who made a throwing error to allow Roman Collins to score from second base to double the Wilmington lead, 2-0.
Blewett finished the game with seven shutout innings, scattered three hits, walked a pair and struck out six batters to bounce back nicely from his tough loss he suffered against the P-Nats in his last start. RHP Franco Terrero notched his second save of the season with two scoreless innings of relief to close the game for the Rocks.
Wilmington takes on Potomac in the second game of the four-game series on Tuesday, May 16 with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at Pfitzner Stadium. LHP Colin Rodgers (0-1, 3.38 ERA) climbs the hill for Wilmington while Potomac counters with RHP Luis Reyes (2-5, 6.27 ERA). Fans can listen to the game as Matt Janus will have the call on 89.7 WGLS-FM.
Pebbles of Knowledge:
Anderson Miller pushed his on-base streak to 30 games when he singled in the fourth inning on Monday to extend his career-high and Carolina League high. His previous watermark was a 16-gamer set a year ago in Low-A Lexington. His on-base streak marks the longest on-base streak for a Blue Rock hitter since Eric Hosmer reached in 33 straight games back in 2010. The streak also tied for the fourth-longest active streak in the Carolina League in the last three years. During the streak, Miller is hitting .308 with six home runs and has driven in 20 runs. Coincidentally, the streak started against the Potomac Nationals on April 14 when he went 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts.
With the win, it marks the first, four-game winning streak of the season for the Rocks. The Blue Crew strung together a three consecutive wins three times this year prior to the four-gamer. The last time the Rocks have won four games in a row was back on August 17-20, 2016 when they won two against Carolina and two against Potomac during a season-long six game victory streak.
Scott Blewett tossed seven dominant innings en route to his second win of the season. It marks the second time the No. 6 prospect in the Kansas City Royals system has completed seven full innings of work this year. The last time was back on May 4 at Down East when he spun seven strong innings in a 10-0 rout over the Wood Ducks. RHP A.J. Puckett and LHP Foster Griffin are the only two other starters to last seven innings or more this season. In addition, the shutout win on Monday marked the fourth shutout tossed by Wilmington this season. In 2016, they had just five shutouts all season long.
They Said It: Jamie Quirk
"His fastball command, getting ahead of hitters and he really had down and away going to both righties and lefties. (On Blewett's adjustment against Potomac.) I was proud of him. This club (Potomac) has hit him pretty good and he made the adjustments today and made his pitches. I told him his last time out that it wasn't his stuff, it was his selection of stuff. Their catcher (Taylor Gushue) hit a couple of home runs against him last time. Blewett was focused on getting him out, making good pitches and that kind of set the tone for everything."
"They have been huge. (On starting pitching being so successful over the last month.) They have maybe three hiccups all year. They are on a good roll, they prepare well, they do their work in between starts which is key. They are a good unit and feed off each other. They have been excellent and when your starters do that and keep games close, that's why we have been playing in so many close games. It's because the starters keep it that way and they feed off that. They allow the offense to scratch and claw and get whatever we need."
"The results I hope that would come have come and they are play solid and smart baseball. That's the key. We are getting guys in when they are out there, moving runners, pitching well. Our defense has been excellent aside from the error (on Monday night). Those are things that will eventually show up in close games and they are starting to."
"(Cody) Jones has been working a lot with hitting coach (Abraham) Nunez. He's doing extra work at home when we had the long homestand. So he got out early three or four times. It's starting to come after he started in Arizona and missed some Spring Training. He is getting is swing now, his timing back and that was the main thing. His timing was off and it's starting to come now. It's hard for a switch hitter to refine both sides of the plate, but he's starting to find it."
Scott Blewett, Starting Pitcher
"It started with the last outing. I came out strong against (Potomac) and the second and third time through the order they kind of caught on and strung a couple of hits together. They have had two guys in (Bryan) Mejia and (Taylor) Gushue that have had my number all year. Mejia was out of the lineup (Monday) so the biggest focus was Gushue. We had a game plan with him before the game and it was to hit that outside corner. If we were going to hit and if we're going to miss, make sure we miss away and that's what we did. We walked him twice on four pitches and was able to get him to fly out to left. For the most part, it was attack and stick with my strength which was arm side down, especially with their left-handed heavy lineup."
"Yes. (On him feeling he had his fastball from the start). Actually, we made an adjustment in the bullpen. I had the sun in my eyes so I pulled my hat down and even something small like that let me keep my chin down and my head aligned. Once I got that, and got in my groove with my confidence it all came together."
"Every team has a different approach and our next opponent for me is Frederick. I haven't thrown against them yet, but pitch location is the most important thing, not the pitch you throw. If we can execute and get the ball down and away from the hitters, everything comes together."
"From day one, even in Spring Training, I was really happy with the team we had once the teams were released. Everyone is together. We don't have our little groups here and there. Everybody is pulling for each other and there is energy in the clubhouse. Even when we lose those one-run games we say we are going to get them tomorrow. We know we are in every game, we are competing and everyone wants to win."
"Absolutely. (Impressed on team keeping composure in tough one-run losses). That's just being loose in the clubhouse and everybody pulling for each other. One-run games happen and it stinks that we were on the losing end of most of them, but if we keep going at it things are going to start going our way and they have."
25 Years of Blue Rocks Baseball
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