September 15, 2012 - Atlantic League (AtL) - Sugar Land Skeeters
BRIDGEPORT, Connecticut - Over the course of a beautiful-weather day up north, the Skeeters swept the Bluefish in its final scheduled doubleheader of the season with wins in game one 6-5 and game two 1-0 from the Ballpark at Harbor Yard Saturday afternoon.
The Bridgeport Bluefish jumped out to an early lead scoring first in the bottom of the first in game one against Scott Kazmir (3-6). Eddie Rogers knocked a double into left-center field and was pushed to third one batter later by Prentice Redman's single into left. In the at-bat to follow, Willis Otanez also hit a single to score Rogers from third to give his team the 1-0 lead.
The Skeeters countered with one run in the top of the second off starter Gilbert De La Vara (11-9) to even the score, 1-1. Matt Hagen, Iggy Suarez and Dominic Ramos all used singles to reach loading the bases for Ofilio Castro with one out. The third baseman managed to poke a fastball into left scoring Hagen from third to draw even.
Both sides were held scoreless through the third and fourth innings, but the Skeeters broke it open in the top of the fifth of the seven-inning game. Castro started the inning with a single into right and was pushed to third on a Dionys Cesar double down the left-field line. Steve Moss walked two batters later, and with the bases loaded and one out in the inning, Bubba Bell tallied his 51st RBI of the season with a groundout to second. Castro touched home plate to give the visitors a 2-1 lead. One batter later, Aaron Bates increased the lead to three with a two-RBI single up the middle, 4-1. Matt Hagen supplied one more extra run for insurance with a follow-up double into right scoring bates from second, 5-1.
Bridgeport managed two runs off two hits in the following half inning to keep the score close at 5-3. Rogers reached on his third hit of the game with a single up the middle. Otanez walked to put runners on first and second before Luis Lopez provided one run with a RBI double to left-center field. With Otanez now on third and Lopez at second, James Simmons launched a sac-fly into center bringing Otanez in to take the lead down to two, 5-3.
De La Vara left the game after giving up five runs in five innings to make way for reliever Kyle Zaleski in the sixth. After striking out the first two batters he faced, Cesar launched the first home run in franchise history off a foul pole with a dinger down the right-field line. His second home run of the season increased the lead back to three, 6-3.
Kazmir's afternoon finished after five innings of work. The lefty allowed three runs on eight hits and three walks while striking out four. Saul Rivera replaced him to pitch the sixth, but the righty failed to get himself out of the inning recording only two outs while allowing two runs on two hits and a walk. Prentice Redman provided two RBI with a two-out double into center. Joey Gathright and Rogers scored to cut the lead to one, 6-5.
Gary Majewski was called upon to record the final out of the sixth and pitch the seventh. The closer retired four of the five batters he faced to obtain his 23rd save of the season in his 29th chance to wrap up game one of the doubleheader by the final score of 6-5.
Will Startup made his first start for the Skeeters of the season in a spot situation with Tim Redding on the disabled list in game two against the Bluefish Saturday afternoon. The lefty managed three scoreless innings, his longest outing of the season, giving up only one hit and two walks while striking out two before Pedro Liriano relieved him in the fourth.
Brad Thompson got the start for the Bluefish, his second against the Skeeters and 10th of the year. After retiring the side in order in the first and second and only giving up two hits through five, the Skeeters scored the first run of the game off him in the sixth. Thompson hit Dominic Ramos in the leadoff spot and Ofilio Castro sac-bunted him to second before Dionys Cesar provided the RBI single to drive him in and take the 1-0 lead.
Liriano worked a scoreless fourth and fifth inning to backup Startup and left in-line for the win during the sixth after walking the first batter he faced. Jeff Farnsworth finished the inning retiring the side in order leaving Eddie Rogers stranded at second for the remainder of the sixth. Farnsworth (S, 3) picked up his third save in his third chance closing out the seventh in style with a 1-2-3 inning to seal the sweep.
Coming up next...The Sugar Land Skeeters (33-30) conclude its regular-season series against the Bridgeport Bluefish (31-31) with the finale of a four-game set Sunday afternoon from the Ballpark at Harbor Yard. Michael Nix (4-10, 5.31 ERA) throws on short rest against Jonah Bayliss (4-8, 5.34 ERA) with first pitch scheduled for 1:05 p.m. CDT. Be sure to get your tickets for the final home stand of the 2012 regular season at Constellation Field against the York Revolution from September 18-23. Call 281.240.HITS or check the website at SugarLandSkeeters.com for availability.