SALISBURY, MD - Brian Gonzalez dominated Greensboro in his first six career starts. Tonight's one run, four hit performance would've ordinarily been enough for a streaking Shorebirds offense, but Delmarva stranded 10 and never came up with a clutch hit in a 1-0 loss at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium on Saturday night.
Entering the contest, Gonzalez had received 3.67 runs of support per start - most on the team. With his fifth consecutive dazzling performance, the third round selection in the 2014 MLB First Year Player Draft has posted a 1.61 ERA during that stretch. In three starts in May, Gonzalez is 1-1 with a 1.00 ERA. Saturday night's affair was the first time this season that the Shorebirds haven't given him a run offensively.
The lack of offense from both teams in the beginning of the game might be attributed to a one hour and 17 minute delay because of a heavy, early evening thunderstorm along the Eastern Shore.
Greensboro's only run of the night came across with two outs in the sixth inning. Grasshoppers' (12-23) left fielder Stone Garrett tripled to the fence in left-center field to put Gonzalez on the ropes. Then highly-touted Marlins' prospect Josh Naylor reached safely on an infield single to shortstop on a high, slow chopper hit to Ryan Mountcastle that he didn't field cleanly.
Aside from those two hits, Gonzalez sliced his way through the Grasshoppers order on 90 pitches. He struck out five and walked one.
The 'Birds (19-15) had chances to score in eight of the nine innings, but never could come up with a decisive blow against Gabriel Castellanos, Scott Squier or CJ Robinson. Their best opportunities came during the bookends of the game.
Delmarva had the bases loaded on three first inning walks, but Ricardo Andujar grounded out to end the frame. In the eighth inning, Ryan Mountcastle led off with a double, and was at third base with one out for the heart of the Delmarva order. But Yermin Mercedes struck out looking and Alex Murphy grounded out to end the threat. The Mercedes strike out was surprising - it was just his fourth strikeout in 36 at bats with a runner in scoring position.
Things even got interesting in the ninth. With two outs, Ademar Rifaela reached safely on Anfernee Seymour's throwing error to first base. Alejandro Juvier slapped a single to left field to put the tying run at second base, but Cedric Mullins rolled over a grounder to second to end the night.
The Shorebirds give the baseball to Cristian Alvarado (2-3, 4.88) tomorrow afternoon in the series finale. First pitch is set for 2:05 pm. Brendan Gulick will have the broadcast live on Fox Sports AM 960 and online at theshorebrids.com.