Unearned run dooms IronBirds in 1-0 loss to ValleyCats
Special to the Whig
— One-score losses in any sport are hard to swallow, especially when that score is an unearned run.
That proved to be the case Wednesday for the Ironbirds, who will need to move on after dropping a disappointing 1-0 contest to the visiting Tri-City ValleyCats at Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium on Wednesday.
With the win, the ValleyCats close in on the Lowell
Spinners in the Stedler Division of the New York-Penn league, shaving the Spinners’ lead to just one game.
The loss keeps Aberdeen (18-26) in dead last within the McNamara Division, as well as adding to the second-worst record in the league.
The game began as a pitcher’s duel, with Travis Seabrooke taking the mound for the IronBirds while his counterpart, Agapito Barrios, threw for the ValleyCats.
Seabrooke’s performance was one of the few highlights on the night as he went six innings, surrendering two hits and one walk.
“I was just trying to do the best I could by keeping the ball down and hitting my spots,” Seabrooke said.
Seabrooke has grown to be more comfortable on the mound as the season has progressed. He has increased his velocity and pitch selection to help fool batters and give the Ironbirds an advantage.
“I’m just trying to take things pitch-by-pitch,” Seabrooke added. “I want to put the ball in play.”
The game’s lone run came off a wild pitch by IronBirds reliever Steve Klimek in the top of the eighth inning with runners at second and third, allowing Bryan De La Cruz to easily score.
Cruz had reached second after a single turned into a two-base hit as a result of a throwing error by third baseman Kirvin Moesquit.
Despite the error, the IronBirds played solid defense, making athletic plays on multiple occasions throughout the game. The most notable defensive gem came from first baseman Preston Palmeiro, who snagged a hit in the top of the eighth inning to rob Marcos Almonte, who went 2-for-4 on the night.
Palmeiro also got it done at the plate, singling to center in the bottom of the fifth inning for the lone hit of the game. His base-knock extended his hitting-streak to five games.
“I’m just trying to have quality at-bats, hit the ball hard,” said Palmeiro, who has hit in every game since joining the Ironbirds on July 28. “Luckily, I’ve gotten some good pitches to hit, and thankfully I haven’t missed any so far.”
Palmeiro also addressed the team’s offensive woes on the night.
“We just didn’t have a great plan from top to bottom of the lineup,” Palmeiro said. “We got some good counts and missed some pitches, people chased some pitches.”
Palmeiro was upbeat, however, explaining “that’s baseball.” He added how anything can happen in the game when you play every day, including off nights.
Protection of the plate and trying to get on base with good contact were the keys for Palmeiro during his successful at-bat. Despite the team’s recent rocky hitting performances, he believes the team just needs to get ahead in the count early during the next few games so that batters can get their pitch to swing on.