'Birds Back to Winning Ways over Asheville
SALISBURY, MD - The Delmarva Shorebirds returned to Arthur W. Perdue Stadium and to winning form on Monday night, defeating the Asheville Tourists 5-2 for their eighth straight home victory.
Matt De La Rosa (2-0) picked up the win on a stellar night for the Shorebirds (13-2) bullpen, tossing a perfect seventh and eighth and striking out four. Jake Bird (1-1) took the loss and a blown save for the Tourists (7-10), surrendering four runs on one hit in 1.2 frames, walking two, hitting two, and fanning three. Tim Naughton converted his fourth straight save to open the season, putting up a zero in the ninth with one walk and one strikeout.
Asheville took advantage of Delmarva starter Nick Vespi in the third. Cade Harris and Will Golsan worked back-to-back full count walks to lead off. After two quick outs, Grant Lavigne drew a free pass on four pitches to load the bases. Coco Montes then served the first pitch into left center for a base hit, plating Harris and Golsan to put the Tourists up 2-0.
Vespi was removed after throwing 30 pitches in the third inning. He allowed two runs on two hits over 2.2 frames, walking four and striking out two.
Delmarva got one of those runs back in the home half of the third. Nick Horvath and Cadyn Grenier led off with singles, and Horvath ended up at third after a Robert Neustrom double play grounder. Adam Hall came up next and punched a liner into center, plating Horvath to cut the Shorebird deficit to 2-1.
Tyler Joyner got the final out of the third inning without incident and pitched three more full scoreless innings, giving up just three hits before passing the baton to De La Rosa for the seventh and eighth. Delmarva relievers combined for 6.1 innings of scoreless three-hit ball.
Coming alive late once again, the Shorebirds made their move in the seventh. Ben Breazeale singled to center to lead off and took second on a passed ball. Two batters later Horvath got hit by a pitch from Bird, and after a strikeout Neustrom worked a full count walk to load the bases. Bird got ahead of Hall 0-2, but his next pitch glanced off the mitt of catcher Willie MacIver and ricocheted off the padded backstop. Breazeale got a great jump and slid in just ahead of the throw to a covering Bird, tying the game at 2-2.
Hall got plunked by the next pitch, forcing Bird to the showers in favor of Boby Johnson. On a 1-1 pitch, Doran Turchin laced one into right center and past a diving Daniel Montano in center. All three runners scored, and Turchin ended up on second with the go-ahead bases-clearing double, putting the Shorebirds up 5-2.
After De La Rosa's perfect eighth, Naughton set the Tourists ablaze in the ninth, consistently hitting mid-90s with his fastball and topping out at 96 miles per hour. Montano worked out a one-out walk on a close 3-2 pitch and took second on defensive indifference. Naughton then struck out Hunter Stovall, and Kyle Datres bounced out to short to ice it.
Turchin finished 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles and three RBIs for the Shorebirds. His seven extra-base hits are the most on the ballclub. Grenier picked up a pair of singles to stretch his on-base streak to 14 games, and Horvath singled scored twice, getting his on-base streak to 13.
Montes went 1-for-4 with both RBIs for the Tourists. Asheville starter Nick Bush endured a no-decision, allowing one run on six hits in five innings with one walk and three strikeouts.
The win was the Shorebirds' eighth straight at home to begin the 2019 season. Delmarva has won nine in a row at Perdue Stadium dating back to last season's home finale, a 2-1 win over Hickory on April 30.
With the Crawdads' 5-1 loss at home to Augusta, Delmarva is now two games up in the race for first place in the SAL Northern Division.
The Shorebirds aim for another home win on Tuesday night against the Tourists. Ofelky Peralta (0-0, 1.69) is on the bump for Delmarva against Asheville's Shelby Lackey (0-2, 8.31). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. with gates opening at 6:00. Tuesday is Wag Your Tail Tuesday, presented by Concord Pet Foods & Supplies. Pregame coverage on Fox Sports 960 AM and the MiLB First Pitch App begins at 6:50 with Will DeBoer on the call.
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South Atlantic League Stories from April 22, 2019
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