BOWIE – After dropping their opening two goals against the Portland Sea Dogs, the Bowie Baysox were able to accrue 12 hits and hold their opponent to six consecutive scoreless innings on their way to clinching a crucial 10-4 win in the series closer on a sunny afternoon at Prince George’s Stadium on Aug. 4.
Second baseman Anderson Feliz went 2-for-3 with two runs and three RBIs while left fielder Jesmuel Valentin was 4-for-5 with two runs, a double, a triple and two RBIs to lead Bowie to the six-run win, ending a three-game losing streak.
In addition to strong pitching, striking early on offense and notching some pivotal base hits with runners in scoring position was the key to the big win, said Baysox Manager Buck Britton.
“You know those last two nights were kind of tough, especially last night, but I’m proud of the way the guys rebounded,” Britton said.
“We got started early, got some big base hits with guys in scoring position and like I said before, Dean (Kremer), he scuffled early; I think he gave up three runs early but he settled in nicely for us and then the bullpen did their job. That’s the recipe for a win.”
In the top of the first inning, second baseman C.J. Chatham singled to right-center field to drive outfield Jarren Duran in for the score to that Portland on top 1-0 early on.
Bowie’s response in the bottom of the first created momentum for their play for the remainder of the afternoon.
After opening the bottom of the inning with singles by Mason McCoy and Cedric Mullins, Feliz belted a line-drive double to right field to tie the game at 1-1. Valentin followed that by ripping an RBI triple to deep to right to bring Feliz and Mullins in for two more runs.
Following his hit, Valentin scored on a Rylan Bannon single to give the Baysox a comfortable 4-1 lead heading into the second. From that point, Bowie never relinquished its lead.
Both teams scored two runs apiece to make the score 6-3 heading into the top of the third. While holding the Sea Dogs (49-62, 22-22) scoreless from the third inning to the eighth inning, Bowie added one run each in the bottom of the fourth, fifth and six innings. The scores came McCoy off of a Feliz RBI single; a T.J. Nichting run from a double through the hole at shortstop by Willy Yahn and Feliz scoring off a Sea Dogs fielding error.
“This victory is important for us – it’s pushing us back up, but we have been playing really well though we lost (three) games straight,” Feliz said through a translator.
“The pitchers are doing their jobs. The hitters are getting good at-bats and runs, so I feel like we’re in a good spot right now.”
In addition to picking up the series-closing win, the Baysox (60-51, 30-13 Eastern League) wore specially designed jerseys and caps as part of the MiLB’s Hispanic fan engagement initiative, “Copa de la Diversión,” translated to the “Fun Cup.” As part of the initiative – which celebrates the diversity that defines the Minor League – the Baysox reveal ed their Hispanic alternative identities a few games a year, transforming into the Chesapeake Bay “Cangrejos Fantasmas” (“Ghost Crabs”) for the last time of the 2019 season.
Kremer, Bowie’s starting pitcher in the afternoon, improved to 8-4 on the season after tossing 6 2/3 innings. He allowed six hits, three runs and two walks to go with eight strikeouts.
“I didn’t have a hot start, and tried to hold them off the rest of the time I was out there and thought I did a good job after the second inning,” Kremer said of his performance.
Right-hander Bryan Mata started for Portland but did not pitch a full inning after being relieved for Robinson Leyer in the bottom of the first. Mata falls to 2-4 on the season after yielding five hits and four earned runs. Leyer pitched 3 2/3 innings, gave up three runs on three hits and three walks along with three strikeouts.
“The offense put up 10 runs so it’s a lot easier to pitch when you got a 10-run cushion,” Kremer said. “But coming out, we lost the last two; we didn’t want to get swept, we have to (have) some kind of good performance to stop that from happening.”
Designated hitter Brett Netzer blasted a solo home run to right field in the top of the ninth for the Sea Dogs. Netzer finished the afternoon 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI while Duran went 3-for-4 with a run and an RBI to lead the way for Portland.
After a day’s rest, the Baysox will travel to New Jersey to take on the Trenton Thunder for a three-game series beginning Aug. 6 as they attempt to climb back into the playoff race in the Eastern League standings on the final month of the regular season.