Bats in Full Swing as Rocks Down SoxMay 1, 2012 - Carolina League (CarL) Wilmington Blue Rocks
Two big innings carried the Rocks to their second win in as many nights. Trailing 2-0 in the bottom of the third, the Wilmington bats slammed Salem starter Miguel Celestino. A one-out walk to Angel Franco started the rally. Whit Merrifield slipped a single into left field, moving Franco up a base. After a flyout to center by Alex McClure, Cheslor Cuthbert rocked a double to left field to knot the game at two. The next man up in Brian Fletcher cashed in with a two-out RBI as he laced a single up the middle to score Cuthbert and gave the Rocks a 3-2 advantage.
The score was all squared at three when the Blue Rocks came to hit in the sixth inning. Reliever Manny Rivera, in his second inning of work, gave up the lead two batters into the frame. Geulin Beltre bunted for a basehit and was brought home on a double down the left field line by catcher Kevin David, making it 4-3 for Wilmington. After two quick outs, Merrifield grinded out a long at-bat to work a walk. While McClure batted, Merrifield broke for second and swiped the bag while David darted for home and scored to raise the lead to 5-3. McClure singled to second base as Salem's Sean Coyle's committed an error on his throw to first. McClure scampered to third after Merrifield crossed the plate to make the advantage 6-3 for the Blue Crew . Cuthbert then brought in McClure with an infield single to the left side, making it 7-3.
It was the Sox who got on the board early against Wilmington starter Sugar Ray Marimon. Jackie Bradley Jr. greeted him with a home run to lead off the game. In the second, a two-out solo bomb by Michael Almanzar doubled the lead at 2-0.
In the top of the sixth, the Sox hit another solo shot off Marimon to tie the game at three. That two-out dinger came courtesy of 19-year old Xander Bogaerts who hit one over the dead left-center field fence.
Marimon (2-0) was solid in his third start of the season. He tossed six innings of three-run ball and fanned seven Sox batters. Leondy Perez did not have his best control but locked down the last three innings of the ballgame for his second save. Perez allowed two runs on six hits.
After taking the first two games, the Blue Rocks look for their straight win when they face off against the Salem Red Sox in the third game of a four-game set on Wednesday night with first pitch set for 6:35 p.m. Wilmington right-hander Tyler Sample (0-2, 5.49) matches up with righty Brandon Workman (1-0, 3.48). Broadcast coverage begins at 6:05 p.m. as studio host Rob Cunningham brings fans the Rocks Report Pre-game Show, presented by Wawa, on 89.7 WGLS-FM and online at wgls.rowan.edu.
PEBBLES OF KNOWLEDGE:
The Blue Rocks halted the potent running game of the Salem Red Sox on Tuesday. Coming into the game, the Sox as a team had swiped 30 consecutive bases. While they took one in the fifth inning courtesy of Felix Sanchez, two Wilmington pitchers recorded pickoffs. After a leadoff double to Brandon Jacobs in the fourth inning, Sugar Ray Marimon threw behind the baserunner and Alex McClure slapped the tag on him for the first out of the inning. In the ninth inning with men on the corners and one out, Leondy Perez made an extremely quick pickoff move and nabbed Sean Coyle at first base. Jacobs then flew out to end the game.
The bats have come alive lately on the Riverfront. The Blue Rocks have scored 15 runs in the last two nights. Prior to the last two games, Wilmington was outgunned 33-12 during the five-game losing streak.
The Blue Rocks showed some flash on the base paths on Tuesday night. They swiped four bags as a team against Salem batteries, setting a season high. Cheslor Cuthbert and Angel Franco both stole second and Kevin David and Whit Merrifield stole home and second, respectively, on the same play in the sixth inning.
The Kansas City Royals organization announced their monthly player and pitcher awards for their full-season minor league squads. Utility man Angel Franco was named the Blue Rocks Player of the Month for April. He finished the month of April as the batting leader in the Carolina league with a .375 mark. He had a 13-game hitting streak during the month. He scored nine runs and drove in seven. He also led the team in on-base percentage and slugging percentage. Starter Jason Adam was named the Blue Rocks Pitcher of the Month for April. In five starts, Adam has recorded a victory and posted a 2.36 ERA. In 26.2 innings, he has struck out 25 batters. He only allowed seven earned runs in his five starts for the month.
The Blue Rocks situational hitting is on the rise as well. On Tuesday night, they were 6-for-18 with RISP. They were 6-for-17 with RISP in the opener against the Sox on Monday. That totals up to a .343 clip so far for the set. This all came after they went 3-for-33 with RISP during the weekend series against Winston-Salem. They are now hitting 49-for-225 (.218) for the season in that situation.
Utility man Angel Franco went 13-game hitting streak ended on Tuesday night. Franco was 0-for-3 but got on base with a walk and scored a run. He had gone 20-for-40 (.500) with four doubles, seven RBIs and eight runs scored. Franco struck out just three times during the streak.
Whit Merrifield had a base knock in Tuesday's victory. Since he closed out a homecoming series at Winston-Salem with an 0-for-5 showing on Apr. 21 that lowered his batting average to .196, he has hit in nine straight games. During that time, the 2011 CL All-Star has gone 15-for-36 (.417) with five extra-base hits, five RBIs and 11 runs scored.
Carolina League Stories from May 1, 2012
- Wilmington Bolts Past Salem 9-5 - Salem Red Sox
- Bats in Full Swing as Rocks Down Sox - Wilmington Blue Rocks
- Dash Bash Nats for Ninth Straight Win - Winston-Salem Dash
- Offensive Outburst Propels Dash Past Nats - Potomac Nationals
- Hillcats Split with Mudcats - Lynchburg Hillcats
- Zagone Nearly No-Hits Pelicans, Keys Win 3-0 - Frederick Keys
- Skole Breaks up No-No in Seventh, Pelicans Fall 3-0 - Myrtle Beach Pelicans
- Mudcats and Hillcats Split a Pair of Games - Carolina Mudcats
- Lynchburg Hillcats Game Notes - Lynchburg Hillcats
- Give Blood, Watch Baseball and a Movie - Myrtle Beach Pelicans
- Dash Debut Live Ballpark Webcam - Winston-Salem Dash
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