BlueClaws Losing Skid Continues
The Lakewood BlueClaws terrible first half to the 2014 season continued to get worse on Monday night. The BlueClaws blew a three-run lead to lose to the Greensboro Grasshoppers, the Single-A affiliate for the Miami Marlins, 10-6, extending their current losing streak to five games.
A game that the BlueClaws led 6-3 going into the top of the 5th inning, ended with the Lakewood bullpen not being able to hold the lead in the 7th inning.
“Is a disappointing loss,” said BlueClaws right fielder Dylan Cozens. “We had a good night with the bats. We were aggressive early at the plate, capitalized on our pitches and put balls in play, but unfortunately we fell apart towards the end and now need bounce back tomorrow.”
The BlueClaws offense early on in the game was right on point. Early, without the benefit of a RBI hit, the BlueClaws took a 2-0 lead in the first. Greensboro starter Matt Milroy walked in a run and threw a wild pitch that allowed another run to score.
In the bottom of the 4th inning, trailing 3-2, the BlueClaws would battle back, scoring a run on another bases loaded walk by Milroy and then following that up with clutch two-out hitting when first baseman Willians Astudillo knocked in two runs on a double. Then, designated hitter, Andrew Knapp hit an RBI double that put the BlueClaws up 6-3.
Knapp, who was playing in his first game with the BlueClaws this season, said on his Lakewood debut, “It felt good. I just went out today trying to get something good to hit, so it’s always good to get the first one out of the way.”
With a 6-3 lead behind him, BlueClaws starter Jon Prosinski would give up two more runs and left the game with two outs in the 6th inning with a 6-5 lead. Overall, Prosinski went 5 2/3 innings, giving up five runs on 10 hits and striking out two.
Now, it was the bullpens job to close out the game, but for the BlueClaws that would not happen Monday night.
After getting the last out in the 6th inning and pitching a clean 7th, BlueClaws reliever Chris O’Hare unraveled in the 8th inning. O’Hare would give up a leadoff double, followed by a RBI single by Grasshoppers right fielder Cody Keefer to tie the game up at 6-6. After walking the next batter, O’Hare would be taken out and replaced by reliever Will Morris. After allowing a hit, Morris would throw a wild pitch, allowing Keefer to score and give Greensboro the lead at 7-6. The run would be charged to O’Hare, who gets the loss, going 1 1/3 innings giving up two runs on two hits and a costly walk. Greensboro would then score three more runs in the 9th inning to make the score 10-6.
Besides the bullpen blowing the lead, the BlueClaws offense that was hot early on in the game, could only muster one hit after the 4th inning due to the performance of Greensboro pitcher Josh Easley. Easley recorded the win, going three innings, giving up no runs on one hit and striking out one.
With the loss, the BlueClaws record now drops to 20-35, making it the first time this season that the BlueClaws are 15 games under .500. The BlueClaws though will try to bounce back and end their five game losing streak Tuesday, when they will play a doubleheader against Greensboro, followed by a early afternoon game on Wednesday that will conclude the four game series between the two ball clubs.
Game Notes: With his two-run double in the 4th inning, BlueClaws first baseman Willians Astudillo extended his hitting streak to 17 games. The BlueClaws franchise record is 24 games with a hit by Jiwan James back during the 2010 season.
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