KINSTON, NC - The Wood Ducks' (15-26) bats were kept at bay by the Astros' (26-16) arms of Jorge Alcala and Sebastian Kessay in a 7-1 loss on Friday night. This is the second losing streak of at least four games this season and the Wood Ducks have lost 13 of 17 games in May.
Wes Benjamin started for Down East and kept the game scoreless through four innings. He was aided by two double plays and also left the bases loaded in the fourth. It was third time through the lineup when the Astros finally "got" the southpaw.
With the bases loaded, Ryne Birk hit a sac fly to deep center and each runner tagged to bring in the first run. Then with two outs and an 0-2 count on Spencer Johnson, he clocked his first Carolina League homer to center to crack open a 4-0 lead for Buies Creek.
Offensively, the Woodies did not have multiple runners on base at any point in the game. All three of the runners left on base were left in scoring position. Michael O'Neill reached base twice with a walk and double, and also stole his 13th base of the season to lead the league.
Benjamin would be done after five, while also allowing a career-high five walks. Scott Williams relieved him but allowed an unearned run in the sixth on a Jason Martin sac fly. In the bottom half of the sixth, the Woodies would finally get on the board with a solo home run from Josh Altmann . His fifth homer of the season puts him in the solo lead for Down East.
With the score 5-1, Williams returned for the seventh but allowed a two-run home run to Birk to stretch the score to its eventual final. After Altmann's homer, 11 Woodies were retired in order to finish the game from Kessay.
Game two of the four-game set is Saturday night at 6:00 p.m. You can listen to every pitch of the 2017 season live on Sports/Talk 960 The Bull or streamed on the TuneIn Radio app.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.