McKenna Walks off Curve, 7-6, in Extras
BOWIE, Md. - Ryan McKenna grounded a bases-loaded single in the 10th inning to complete a 7-6 comeback win over the Altoona Curve in front of 4,381 at Prince George's Stadium Saturday night.
After Dillon Tate tossed a scoreless 10th inning during his key 2 2/3 relief innings, Mason McCoy laid down a bunt in front of catcher Jason Delay. Pinch-runner T.J. Nichting beat the throw to third base, which set the stage for McKenna after an intentional walk to Cedric Mullins.
With the bases loaded and no one out, the left fielder grounded the first pitch from Curve pitcher Mark Eckelman through the right side of the drawn-in infield to seal the 13th straight Eastern League series victory.
McCoy got the Baysox (23-6) off and running with a run in the third inning to take a 1-0 lead. Jesse Valentin led off with a double down the right field line and advanced on a Stuart Levy single to left field. With one out, McCoy beat out a potential double play to drive in his 22nd run of the season.
The offense knocked Altoona starter Beau Sulser from the game with four consecutive hits in the fifth inning. Rylan Bannon led off with his eighth home run of the season and second in as many games. The opposite-field shot under the scoreboard in right-center field added an insurance run and increased the score to 2-0.
Preston Palmeiro hustled into second base two batters later with the second double in as many at-bats, scoring Valentin on RBI No. 31. Bowie has scored 10 runs in the fifth inning during the four-game series, and they tacked on one more run two batters after Palmeiro's double.
The second pitch of the night from reliever Blake Cederlind skipped to the backstop, allowing Palmeiro to score the third run of the frame. The hosts tacked on a fifth run in the sixth inning, thanks to the third double down the right field line from Valentin that plated Yusniel Diaz. The three doubles for Valentin tied a franchise record for most doubles in one game.
Altoona (15-13) scored four runs in the seventh inning and two runs in the eighth inning to take a 6-5 lead, but Diaz quickly shifted the momentum once again with solo rocket deep to left field. The team-leading 10th home run of the season for the right fielder was the first since July 4.
Despite the late rally effort, Alex Wells turned in another quality start in a no-decision. The lefty held the Curve to five hits and struck out a quartet over six scoreless innings for his 10th quality start, lowering his league-leading ERA to 1.83 in the process.
The series and homestand finale between the Curve and Baysox gets underway at 1:35 p.m. Fresh off his Tuesday night no-hitter, RHP Michael Baumann (2-1, 0.33 ERA) takes on LHP Sean Brady (3-8, 4.42 ERA) in the third game of the season as Los Cangrejos Fantasmas de Chesapeake.
Sunday is Salsa Sunday at the ballpark, where fans can learn how to dance the Latin American genre and take in live performances from local salsa dance troupes, thanks to Chesapeake Insurance.
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