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Rocks Drop First Game of Final Home Stand of Regular Season to Dash

Wilmington yields 14 hits in loss to Winston-Salem
September 1, 2015

WILMINGTON, Del. - The Blue Rocks struck first on Tuesday against Winston-Salem, but a steady offensive attack by the Dash from the second inning on was too much for Wilmington to overcome, as the Rocks lost 7-3 at Frawley Stadium. Humberto Arteaga produced a season-high four hits, including two doubles and a pair of RBIs to spark Wilmington's offense, while Omar Narvaez led the charge for Winston-Salem with four hits and two RBIs of his own.

Mauricio Ramos got the scoring started in the bottom of the first with a single that plated Arteaga, but the Dash put together three straight innings in which they scored a pair of runs. Tyler Williams produced a two-run single in the top of the second, while two more scored in the third when Narvaez and Michael Danner each collected RBI base hits. The top of the fourth saw Narvaez come away with another RBI single, with an additional score crossing on the play thanks to an error by Logan Moon.

The Rocks got a pair in the bottom of the third when Arteaga smacked his second two-bagger of the evening, a hit that scored both Moon and Jack Lopez, but that would be the final time Wilmington would crack the scoreboard. Winston-Salem added one more run in the top of the sixth on Nolan Earley's RBI base hit, capping the scoring at 7-3.

The win on Tuesday went to James Dykstra, who pitched five shutout innings out of the bullpen for the Dash. The righty gave up six hits and struck out two. Pedro Fernandez was saddled with his fifth loss with the Blue Rocks this year. Fernandez could only last 4.1 frames on Tuesday, allowing six runs (five earned) on 10 hits and four walks, striking out two in the process.

The Rocks and Dash continue their three-game series on Wednesday at Frawley Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m., and fans can listen to the broadcast on 89.7 WGLS-FM.


Tuesday turned into a career-night for Humberto Arteaga. The Wilmington shortstop collected four hits against the Dash, which was his second four-hit game in 2015. The first time he accomplished the feat was as a member of the Lexington Legends on May 4. Arteaga has been swinging a good bat lately, as his four-hit effort on Tuesday gave him a modest three-game hitting streak. Over his last trio of contests, the Venezuelan native has gone 7-for-13 with three doubles and three RBIs. Arteaga entered the Royals system as a non-drafted free agent on July 2, 2010. He began 2015 with the Low-A Lexington Legends, where he hit .259 in 70 games.

Pedro Fernandez continued to struggle at the Advanced-A level on Tuesday. Since getting the call to the Carolina League in late July, the Dominican native has pitched to a record of 0-5 and an ERA of 9.43 in six games with the Rocks. The only start that Fernandez has made that has not resulted in a loss came on August 19 at Potomac. The righty pitched six frames that day, allowing five earned runs on eight hits with four strikeouts for the no-decision. The last time Fernandez picked up a win was during his July 22 start as a member of the Low-A Lexington Legends. Against Rome that day, the righty hurled 6.2 innings, yielding only one unearned run while striking out a career-high 10 batters. Fernandez was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Royals as a 16-year-old in 2011.

After enduring a brutal stretch from late July to late August, Santiago Nessy looks to have turned the corner. In 11 games that spanned from July 29 to August 23, the Venezuelan native was unable to record a single hit, going 0-for-31 over the length of the streak. He saw his average plummet from .262 to .203 as a result of his struggles at the dish. Nessy finally broke his hitless stretch with a knock against Myrtle Beach on August 27, going 1-for-4 in the game. With a double on Tuesday against the Dash, the catcher has now collected hits in back-to-back contests for the first time since his season-high seven game hitting streak which lasted from July 8 to July 19. Nessy came to the Royals organization in a trade with the Toronto Blue Jays a day after Game Seven of the 2014 World Series.

The Rocks have grown accustomed to seeing Southern Division opponents on the schedule recently. Wilmington will play their final 17 games of the regular season against CL South foes. Their last contest against a Northern Division opponent took place on August 19 against Potomac, when the Blue Crew took a 7-6 victory. The Blue Rocks were supposed to matchup with the Nats on August 20, but rain at Frawley Stadium cancelled the finale with Potomac. During this 17-game Southern Division trek, Wilmington is currently 4-6 against a combination of Salem, Carolina, Myrtle Beach, and Winston-Salem. After Tuesday, the Rocks see the Dash two more times before closing their regular season with five against the Pelicans. The next time the Blue Crew sees a Northern Division team will be in the playoffs.


Manager Brian Buchanan:

"(Pedro Fernandez) wasn't locating his fastball and was leaving pitches up. He couldn't get his off-speed over and it is going to be a long night when you cannot locate your fastball and get your breaking (pitches) over (the strike zone.)"

"(Humberto Arteaga is doing well) with pitch selection. He has been getting better pitches to hit and putting good swings at them."

"We have had solid defense the whole year but obviously we cannot (have three errors) in the playoffs. I am not overly-concerned about it."

"Probably the last series or few games I will put (players) where they will be during the postseason. They want the middle infielders to play both and the outfielders to play around but during the end of the year we will probably put them where they will be playing."

"During the double-header we are trying to line up some pitching but I told the guys (on Tuesday) that we are going to start doing things a little different. It is not going to be overly-different but maybe pitching (players) back-to-back days. We still have to cover games with the double-headers."

"Our first game of the playoffs will be away, so being home for a week and having that day off before they start (will be nice). We play well at home so it is always nice to (have) home games."