'Birds Blink First, 'Claws Walk Off
LAKEWOOD, NJ - Abrahan Gutierrez glided a walkoff single to left in the bottom of the ninth as the Lakewood BlueClaws outlasted the Delmarva Shorebirds 1-0 on Wednesday night at FirstEnergy Park.
The BlueClaws (28-35, 57-76) had managed just one hit with the game, which was scoreless in the bottom of the ninth. Yerwin Trejo led off the frame with a grounder that glanced off Delmarva pitcher Ruben Garcia's glove for an infield hit. Malvin Matos fell behind 1-2 but rolled a single to the right side, putting two men aboard. That brought up Gutierrez, who hit a soft liner to shallow left, allowing Trejo to come in with the winning run.
Manuel Silva (6-6) tossed 4.1 scoreless innings in relief for the BlueClaws, allowing just one hit and walking one while striking out four. Garcia (1-3) took the loss for the Shorebirds (39-25, 87-46) after giving up the winning run in the ninth.
In an intense pitchers' duel, neither side had an official at-bat with a man in scoring position until Gutierrez's game-winner. Starting pitchers Drew Rom for Delmarva and Josh Hendrickson for Lakewood combined to give up just one hit over the first five innings. Rom turned in his best start in weeks with five no-hit frames, walking one and striking out six to end his regular season on a high note.
Hendrickson lasted 4.2 innings, giving up one hit and walking one while fanning six.
The Shorebirds' only real scoring chance came after two intense plate appearances in the fifth. With two down and nobody on, Shayne Fontana fouled off eight two-strike pitches and muscled the 13th pitch of the at-bat into shallow center for a single. Fontana then stole second base, and after a 12-pitch battle Seamus Curran got hit on the hand to put two men on. With 38 pitches in the fifth alone, Hendrickson came out in favor of Silva, and on the first pitch to Doran Turchin catcher Gutierrez picked Curran off of first base to get out of the jam.
Matt De La Rosa kept the game scoreless with three strong innings out of the bullpen for Delmarva, and Adley Rutschman showed off his cannon from behind the plate in the bottom of the eighth. Seth Lancaster drew a two-out walk and attempted to steal on the first pitch to Trejo, but Rutschman threw him out at second to retire the side, setting up Lakewood's rally in the ninth.
Fontana and Toby Welk had the only two hits on the night for the Shorebirds, both singles. Matos accounted for two of the BlueClaws' four base knocks.
The shutout loss is the fourth shutout the Shorebirds have been involved in in their last six games. Delmarva blanked Hagerstown 1-0 in the nightcap last Saturday and Lakewood 7-0 on Tuesday night; the Shorebirds lost to the Suns 9-0 last Sunday and 1-0 on Wednesday.
The Shorebirds go for the series split in their final regular season road game on Thursday night. Grayson Rodriguez (9-4, 2.88) makes his final start before the playoffs for Delmarva against Lakewood's Tom Sutera (1-2, 3.80). First pitch is 7:05 p.m., and pregame coverage on Fox Sports 960 AM and the MiLB First Pitch App begins at 6:50 with Will DeBoer on the call.
• Discuss this story on the South Atlantic League message board...
South Atlantic League Stories from August 28, 2019
- Navas' Career Night Not Enough as RiverDogs' Playoff Chances Dwindle - Charleston RiverDogs
- Asheville Takes High Energy Game from Charleston - Asheville Tourists
- Rutledge Sets Season-High in Loss - Hagerstown Suns
- 'Birds Blink First, 'Claws Walk Off - Delmarva Shorebirds
- Toplikar Takes Jackets to 5-2 Win - Augusta GreenJackets
- Third Inning Pushes GreenJackets Past Drive - Greenville Drive
- Fireflies Game Notes: August 28 vs. Hickory (Game 131) - Columbia Fireflies
- Lexington Powers Down West Virginia with Doubleheader Sweep - Lexington Legends
- Ricca Homers as Power Are Swept in Doubleheader - West Virginia Power
- Playoff Tickets Go-On Sale Thursday, August 29th at 10 a.m. - Augusta GreenJackets
- RiverDogs Chase Down Attendance Record to Close out the Season at Home - Charleston RiverDogs
- Hagerstown Suns: Game Notes - Hagerstown Suns
- Promo Preview: Last Fireworks, LR Night and More - Hickory Crawdads
- Game Notes (August 28) - West Virginia Power
- Bill on Baseball: Hoppers Turn Tables with Shutout - Greensboro Grasshoppers
- Braves Come Up Empty in the Clutch in 3-0 Loss - Rome Braves
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.
Other Recent Delmarva Shorebirds Stories
- Single-Game Tickets for PAW Patrol, Fireworks, Poster Giveaway, and More Are Now on Sale
- Shorebirds 4th of July Tickets Are Now on Sale
- Promotional Nights Highlight Homestand #5 & #6
- Valentine's Day Packages and Single-Game Tickets for Homestand #4 Are Now on Sale
- Star Wars Night, Bobblehead Giveaway, and Fireworks Highlight Shorebirds Homestand #3