Blue Crabs win third straight series
Blue Crabs win third straight series; lose tough one to Somerset
Since delivering its first sweep of the season over the visiting New Britain Bees 10 days ago, the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs have been a force to be reckoned with.
The Blue Crabs won two out of three in Long Island and on Sunday afternoon capped off another three-game series with a 4-3 win over the Sugar Land Skeeters, winning two out of three for their third-straight series win.
The win was the seventh in the last nine games for the Blue Crabs.
Monday night, the Blue Crabs came close to making it 8 of 10, but lost 8-7 to Somerset in the first of a four-game set at Regency Furniture Stadium in Waldorf.
Leading 7-6 in the top of the ninth, the Blue Crabs were unable to hold on as Somerset’s Kyle Roller hit a two-run home run versus Blue Crabs reliever Craig Stem to give the Patriots the comeback win. Roller finished 4 for 5 at the plate with two runs scored.
In the bottom of the ninth with the tying run on first after a leadoff single from Angel Sanchez, Michael Snyder grounded into the 6-4-3 double play and Gustavo Molina flew out to end the game as Jon Hunton picked up his Atlantic League-leading 33rd save entering Tuesday.
Trailing 6-5, Jamar Walton and Eric Garcia hit RBI doubles in the bottom of the eighth to put Southern Maryland up by one. They also led 2-1 when Snyder hit his 20th home run of the season, second in the league entering Tuesday, in the first and 4-3 after two innings on RBI singles from Garcia and Sanchez.
Garcia went 3 for 4 with a double, two RBIs and two runs scored to lead the Blue Crabs, while Gary Brown was 3 for 5 with a run scored. The teams combined for 25 hits in the game.
Southern Maryland used seven pitchers in the loss. Starter Brian Burres lasted just two innings, allowing three runs on four hits. Burres’ ERA rose to 3.09, ranking him third in the league entering Tuesday after briefly holding the top spot.
The four-game series continues at 7:05 tonight and tomorrow, then the Blue Crabs (49-71 overall, 23-27 second half- 7 1/2 games behind Sugar Land in the Freedom Division second-half standings entering Tuesday) head to Bridgeport to start a seven-game road trip Friday
that will continue in York on Monday.
Pitching was the story in Sunday’s series finale with Sugar Land. Blue Crabs closer Cody Eppley struck out Wilfredo Rodriguez with tying run on first base in the top of the ninth to end the game for his 27th save of the season, his sixth in the last nine days. The 27 saves were fourth in the Atlantic League entering Tuesday.
Blue Crabs starter Tim Sexton picked up his first win since June 22, also a victory over Sugar Land, allowing three runs on seven hits in six innings with two walks and three strikeouts. The bullpen of Scott Snodgress, Stem and Eppley halted a Skeeters rally, striking out three and allowing just one baserunner over the final three innings.
Blue Crabs relievers had allowed just one earned run in their last seven games entering Monday.
Southern Maryland scored its runs on a lead off home by Molina in the bottom of the second, a Snyder solo shot in the fourth and a Garcia two-run single in the fourth.
Saturday, Southern Maryland defeated Sugar Land 4-1 as starter Brian Grening tossed a seven-hitter over seven innings to raise his record to 9-4, giving up just one run to go along with six strikeouts. The win for Grening was his sixth in the last eight starts, with the other two starts being no-decisions. His nine victories on the season was tied for second in the league entering Tuesday.
An RBI double by D’Arby Myers and an RBI single by Brown broke a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the second to put the Blue Crabs in front for good. Eppley allowed just a one-out ground rule double in the top of ninth to pick up the save.
Sugar Land won 3-0 in Friday’s series opener as four pitchers combined on a six-hit shutout. Sanchez was the only Blue Crabs hitter with more than one hit, going 2 for 4 with two singles.
Blue Crabs starter Daryl Thompson, the 2003 La Plata High School graduate, got the loss to drop his record to 4-7, allowing three runs on five hits with three strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings.
Thursday, the Blue Crabs edged Long Island in the series finale as it delivered with a fiverun second in which 11 batters came to the plate. Snyder and Walton had RBI singles in the top of the seventh to break a 5-5 tie.
Blue Crabs starter Gaby Hernandez picked up his fourth win in his last five starts and the bullpen pitched three scoreless innings.
Blue Crabs catcher Gustavo Molina finished 2 for 3 at the plate with two runs scored, including a solo homer in the bottom of the second inning in a 4-3 win Sunday over the Sugar Land Skeeters at Regency Furniture Stadium in Waldorf. The Blue Crabs won two out of three in the series.
Blue Crabs starter Brian Grening picked up his sixth win in his last eight starts in a 4-1 victory over Sugar Land on Saturday at Regency Furniture Stadium in Waldorf. Grening allowed just one run on seven hits with six strikeouts in seven innings of work.