SALISBURY, MD - On a night where one of the Orioles' top prospects, Grayson Rodriguez, was unhittable, the Intimidators managed to score one run on three hits in the eighth, ultimately losing 5-1 at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium to the Delmarva Shorebirds (30-17, 78-38).
It was the Rodriguez show early and often on the hill for the Shorebirds. After the top pitching prospect in the Orioles' organization struck out two Kannapolis batters in the first, the Shorebirds used an Adam Hall single and Zach Watson double to take an early 1-0 lead.
Rodriguez (W, 9-3) recorded another three strikeouts in the second frame, as the right-handed pitcher received more run support thanks to a Seamas Curran solo homer (17) to center field off Jason Bilous (L, 5-7).
One inning later and after two more Rodriguez strikeouts to bring his number to seven, Hall cranked a 1-1 pitch from Bilous over the left field wall, pushing the Delmarva lead to three runs. After a hit by pitch and back-to-back singles from Ryne Ogren and Doran Turchin, Zach Watson scored to give the Shorebirds a 4-0 lead.
A mound visit did not prove beneficial for Bilous, as the righty out of Coastal Carolina surrendered back-to-back walks, with the latter scoring another Delmarva run, now 5-0.
In the fourth, Rodriguez picked up his eighth punchout of the night by striking out Romy Gonzalez, as Bilous struck out the side in the bottom half of the inning to cool off the Delmarva bats. Bilous finished off his outing by working around a leadoff single in the fifth, using a strikeout and two groundouts to do so.
Bilous finished the night with seven strikeouts through 5.0 innings of work, allowing five earned runs on eight hits (86 pitches). Rodriguez's night finished after 5.0 innings as well, striking out 10 Kannapolis batters without allowing a hit.
Wilber Perez continued his hot streak on the bump on Saturday in relief, striking out three batters in 3.0 innings of work, only allowing two hits and one walk.
In the eighth, Michael Hickman doubled (9) on an 0-1 pitch to left field to get the first runner in scoring position for the Intimidators. After a Ramon Beltre seven-pitch strikeout, Ian Dawkins singled to right field to place runners at the corners for Lenyn Sosa. On the first pitch of his at-bat, Sosa grounded out to second baseman Alexis Torres, scoring Hickman from third to get Kannapolis on the board.
Kannapolis (24-24, 52-64) will look to even the four-game series in game four on Sunday at 5:05 p.m. with Johan Dominguez (4-4, 3.02 ERA) taking the mound against Delmarva's Ryan Wilson (5-4, 2.97 ERA).
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.