CHARLESTON, WV - The Delmarva Shorebirds dropped their ninth straight game on Sunday afternoon, losing 6-2 to the West Virginia Power at Appalachian Power Park.
Eduardo Vera (5-5) earned the win for the Power (22-21, 52-57) with seven strong innings, allowing one run on three hits while walking none and striking out seven. Zach Muckenhirn (4-9) endured the loss for the Shorebirds (20-22, 49-61), giving up six runs on eight hits in five-plus innings.
With the game scoreless through four innings, the Shorebirds broke through in the top of the fifth. Milton Ramos connected for a line drive solo home run over the right center wall. The blast was Ramos' first of the year and second career home run; his first came as a member of the rookie-level Kingsport Mets at the Pulaski Yankees on July 29, 2015.
The Power quickly regrouped after falling behind 1-0. Clark Eagan led off the bottom of the fifth with a bunt single, and Trae Arbet got hit by the next pitch to put two on. Kevin Mahala laid down a bunt to move the runners into scoring position, and Victor Fernandez belted a two-run triple to bring them both around and put the home side on top. Adrian Valerio followed with a groundball double down the left field line, scoring Fernandez to make it 3-1.
West Virginia's surge continued in the bottom of the sixth as Arden Pabst belted a leadoff home run to right. Ryan Nagle doubled and Clark brought it full circile with a two-run shot just over the wall in right, making it 6-1 and knocking Muckenhirn out of the game.
Delmarva's best chance to get back into it came in the top of the eighth. Frank Crinella and Tanner Kirk led off with back-to-back singles, then after a wild pitch, Stuart Levy walked to load the bases. Cole Billingsley worked out his own walk, forcing in Crinella to get it to 6-2. Reliever Angel German, who made his Pirates debut after coming over from the Dodgers in the Tony Watson trade, buckled down from there. Ryan McKenna struck out, Jake Ring flew out to shallow center, and Preston Palmeiro took a called third strike to end the rally.
Julio Eusebio came in for the top of the ninth and gave up a pair of baserunners. Collin Woody walked to lead off and Tanner Kirk beat out an infield single with two outs to keep the game going, but Stuart Levy fanned on a curve in the dirt as the Power wrapped up the four-game sweep.
Kirk went 2-for-4 to lead the 'Birds, while Ramos' homer was the team's only extra-base hit of the game.
Eagan finished 2-for-4 with a double, two-run homer, and two runs scored for the Power. Valerio went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI.
Matt Trowbridge pitched two scoreless innings in relief of Muckenhirn, while Kory Groves pitched a 1-2-3 eighth. Groves now has a 1.03 ERA (3 ER in 26.1 IP) since May 30.
The Shorebirds return to Perdue Stadium to begin a seven-game homestand against the Hagerstown Suns on Monday night. Matthias Dietz (2-8, 4.64) will make the start against a Suns starter to be determined. First pitch is 7:05 p.m. with gates opening at 6:00. Monday is a 47 ABC $2 Buck Monday, featuring Upper Reserved tickets, hot dogs, and 16oz Pepsi products for $2 each. Pregame coverage on Fox Sports AM 960 and the MiLB First Pitch App begins at 6:50 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.