Bowie, Md. - The Baysox fell behind early to the Richmond Flying Squirrels on a chilly Tuesday evening and were never able to gain the lead, as they fell 5-4 for the second night in a row and for their fifth consecutive loss.
The Baysox five-game losing streak ties the season-high from 2011 when the team lost five games in Harrisburg from May 27-30. In each of the Baysox five losses, they have allowed the opposition to score early runs and struggled to overcome the early deficits.
"Playing from behind hurts," said Manager Gary Kendall. "You like to get a lead; you like to stake your territory a little bit, especially at home. You get couple runs on the board and you go out and defend and plus it take the monkey off your back a little bit. Whenever you can go out there and put up some early, it makes you feel good about yourself and it gets guys more relaxed and at ease."
The Baysox bullpen has struggled miserably this season, acquiring its second loss of the season after allowing two runs in the top of the eighth inning to allow Richmond to break a 3-3 tie. In six games this season, the Baysox bullpen has allowed 16 runs to score as they have struggled to keep the Baysox in close games.
For the fifth game in a row, the visitors struck first against the Baysox. With one out, Johnny Monell singled to right field and moved to second on a soft fly ball single to right field by Juan Perez. Wes Hodges hit the third single of the inning off right-handed starting pitcher Tim Bascom to third base to load the bases and Daniel Mayora plated Monell on a sacrifice fly to center field to put the Flying Squirrels up 1-0.
Richmond extended the lead in the top of the fifth inning. Hodges hit a lead off double to left field and advanced to third base after a single by Mayora. Ryan Cavan drew a walk to load the bases and after retiring one batter, Bascom walked Ehire Adrianza to drive in a run. Tommy Joseph followed with a sharp single up the middle that plated Cavan to make the score 3-0, but Bascom was able to limit the damage to two runs.
"I felt pretty good and then a lead off double got me into the stretch and I got really quick out of the stretch and I didn't stay back and let my stuff work," Bascom said. "I started pressing a little bit and then I slowed down and kind of got out of it, but the damage was already done."
Bowie got on the board in the bottom of the fifth inning against Richmond starter Justin Fitzgerald. Catcher Caleb Joseph drew a one out walk and went to second base on a single to left field by third baseman Buck Britton. Joseph scored from second on a single to center field by designated hitter Robbie Widlansky that made the score 3-1.
The Baysox continued their rally and tied the game in the sixth inning. Center fielder LJ Hoes took first base after being hit by a pitch and he moved to third base on a double to right field by shortstop Manny Machado. Hoes scored on a groundout by first baseman Tyler Townsend and Machado scored from second base on a single by Joseph that tied the score at 3-3.
Richmond took the lead right back in the top of the eighth inning against the Baysox bullpen. Right-handed reliever Wynn Pelzer started the inning and recorded one out while also allowing a single to Chris Dominguez. Right-handed reliever Ross Wolf entered the game with two outs and allowed a two-run home run to left field by Juan Perez that made the score 5-3.
Bowie had an opportunity to make a comeback in the bottom of the eighth inning when they got the bases loaded with no outs, but there were able to come away with only one run. Townsend grounded out to second base to score left fielder Travis Adair from third and make the score 5-4, but Chris Gloor struck out the final two batters to get out of the inning.
"We just haven't strung together timely hits," Joseph said. It's not that we aren't hitting, they just aren't timely. Today we put a few together, but still in the last inning we didn't have some timely hitting."
The Baysox offense showed more life late in Tuesday's game than it has recently, but still struggled to come away with the timely hits that would have enabled them to win the game. The team was just 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
"I liked what we did offensively a little more than what has been going on," Kendall said. "We competed, we battled; we had opportunities in the eighth, we had opportunities in the ninth. We swung the bats, as a whole, better and we drew some walks, but we just fell a little short."
Bascom pitched six innings and allowed three runs on six hits while striking out five batters in the no decision. Pelzer entered in the seventh inning in relief of Bascom and pitched one and one-third innings, allowing one run on two hits and striking out one batter in the loss. Left-handed reliever Pedro Viola retired the only batter he faced in the eighth inning. Wolf also pitched one-third of an inning and allowed one run on one hit. Right-handed reliever Sean Gleason pitched a scoreless ninth inning where he allowed one hit.
The Baysox first homestand of the year ends Wednesday, April 11 after a day game starting at 11:05 p.m. The Baysox travel to Erie Thursday to begin a seven game road trip before returning to Bowie Thursday, April 26.
Baysox Baseball - We'll Knock Your 'Sox Off. The Baysox 20th season is underway. Parking is free at every Baysox home game and tickets are now available at www.baysox.com, or by calling the Baysox box office at (301) 464-4865.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.