Early Hole Too Much as 'Birds Fall in WV

Humpal bounces back for six solid innings in 6-3 loss

(Joey Gardner)

By Will DeBoer / Delmarva Shorebirds | August 5, 2017 9:36 PM ET


CHARLESTON, WV - The Delmarva Shorebirds conceded the first six runs and came up short on several rallies as the West Virginia Power held on for a 6-3 win on Saturday night at Appalachian Power Park.

Luis Escobar (9-5) earned the win for the Power (20-20, 51-57), scattering three hits over 6.2 scoreless innings while walking four, hitting two, and striking out nine. Lucas Humpal (6-10) took the loss for the Shorebirds (20-21, 49-60), giving up four runs (three earned) on six hits in six innings. Pasquale Mazzoccoli earned his first Single-A save with a perfect ninth.

West Virginia opened the scoring in the bottom of the second. Oneil Cruz lined the first pitch he saw into left for a leadoff single, and Yoel Gonzalez brought him around with an RBI double down the left field line to make it 1-0.

In the bottom of the third, Carloz Munoz took a pitch off the right shin to put a man on with two outs. Albert Baur followed with a line drive bomb across the street beyond the right field wall. Baur's sixth homer of the year put the Power up 3-0.

Adrian Valerio and Munoz reached on back-to-back one-out errors in the fifth, putting men on the corners. After a popout, Cruz belted a line drive single into left, scoring Valerio to make it 4-0.

Munoz walked with one out in the seventh and Cruz flexed his muscles again two batters later, mashing a two-run shot over the wall in right center to make it a 6-0 West Virginia lead.

After stranding the bases loaded in the fifth and seventh, the Shorebirds finally broke through in the eighth. Collin Woody led off with a single and Gerrion Grim beat out an infield hit two batters later. Milton Ramos hit a liner to right to load the bases and bring Tanner Kirk to the plate. Reliever Matt Eckleman then threw wild to the plate, allowing Woody to scamper in with the first run.

Kirk grounded the next pitch to third base and brought in Grim. Daniel Fajardo then hit a line shot into right center, bringing around Ramos to cut the deficit to 6-3. Cole Billingsley followed with another single, putting men on the corners and bring the tying run to the plate, but Ryan McKenna flew out to right to end the threat.

Fajardo finished 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI to lead the way for the Shorebirds. Ramos went 2-for-3 with a run, while Billingsley finished 1-for-3 with two walks.

In his first game with the Power since coming over from the Dodgers farm in last week's Tony Watson trade, Cruz went 3-for-4 with a home run, three RBIs, and two runs scored. Gonzalez mashed two doubles and drove in a run.

After losing its eighth straight, Delmarva is now 9-9 in its last 18 games, a stretch which includes an eight-game winning streak and an eight-game skid.

The Shorebirds wrap up the road trip and will try to salvage the finale on Sunday afternoon as Zach Muckenhirn (4-8, 4.83) squares off against the Power's Eduardo Vera (4-5, 3.27). First pitch is 2:05 p.m., and pregame coverage on Fox Sports AM 960 and the MiLB First Pitch App begins at 1:50 p.m. with Will DeBoer on the call.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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