BlueClaws Get a Great Start by Another Unlikely Hero
This has been a week of surprises for the Lakewood BlueClaws. First, the BlueClaws got an unlikely great outing by their starting pitcher. Yacksel Rios, a former relief pitcher, who almost pitched a no-hitter as a starter on Tuesday night and, now starting pitcher Tyler Viza.
Coming into Thursday night’s game Viza was 2-11 with a 5.38 ERA. During the game you would never have thought that he would have such a record. Viza pitched six great innings giving up one run on four hits and striking out four. That led the BlueClaws to a 4-1 victory over the Hagerstown Suns.
Viza on his performance said “I’m happy to get the win. I hit my spots and, you know,had faith in my defense to come up behind me and that’s what they did and we came out on top.”
This was a happy surprise for the BlueClaws whose starting pitching has not been so great for them all season long. In fact, with starting pitcher, Mark Lighter Jr. being called up to Clearwater, many would tell you that the BlueClaws do not have any good starting pitchers. That might not be the case with the starts from Rios and Viza this week.
Viza on how he can build off this performance and on how good the BlueClaws pitching can be the rest of the season said “I feel I have been throwing the ball pretty well my last few outings so it’s definitely another great thing to build on for my next start. As for our pitching staff, we just try to go out there and compete every night and try to get our team get a win.”
Viza also joked that it was a good thing the BlueClaws were facing Hagerstown saying “I have kinda had Hagerstown’s number all season so I was pretty happy I had a start against them.”
This was not just a big win for VIza, but for the BlueClaws themselves. With the win, the BlueClaws would win the series against Hagerstown. Their first series win in the second half of the season.
The BlueClaws got out to an early lead in the bottom of the first inning with an RBI groundout by second baseman Andy Pullen to take a 1-0 lead. After Hagerstown tied the game in the fourth inning, the Blueclaws came back to retake the lead in the bottom half of the inning with RBI hits by shortstop Malquin Canelo and center fielder Carlos Tucci, who also scored on a wild pitch to give Lakewood a 4-1 lead.
The game would then be subject to a 63 minute rain delay after the sixth inning. But that wouldn’t affect the BlueClaws at all. Reliever WIll Morris would come in and pitched two scoreless innings and then would give way to closer Ulises Joaquin. Joaquin would come in in the ninth to pick up his sixth save of the season.
Morris on his great outing said “I was happy to help get the team the win. I was able to throw strikes, didn’t let the rain delay get to me at all and just kept throwing my fast ball and everything turned out.” Morris was also happy to get the win because of the fireworks show after the game saying “Getting a win at home and having a fireworks show afterward, not many things can beat that.”
With the win the BlueClaws improve to 5-10 in the second half if the season. They go on to play the Delmarva Shorebirds.
BlueClaws Update: The BlueClaws would drop 2-3 with Delmarva over the weekend, losing on Friday and Saturday nights and then winning Sunday afternoon. BlueClaws starting pitcher Yacksel Rios picked up right where he left off from almost pitching a no hitter in his last start, pitching 7 great innings, giving up two runs on five hits and struck out 5, in the Lakewoods win on Sunday. The BlueClaws are now 6-12 in the second half of the season.
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