Shutout Pitching Paces BlueClaws in Win
LAKEWOOD, NJ - Jon Velasquez pitched a gem, aiding the Lakewood BlueClaws to their fourth shutout of the season and a 3-0 victory against the Hagerstown Suns, maintaining their lead atop the standings.
The BlueClaws (33-22) got on the board in the game's first inning as Anthony Gose was put on base with a hit by pitch, before stealing second base to get in scoring position. With two outs, Steve Susdorf doubled to the gap in right field, bringing home Gose and giving the BlueClaws all the runs they would need in the game against the Suns (24-28).
The BlueClaws added a run in the third inning as Troy Hanzawa led off the inning with a double and later scored as Gose hit a double to right field to make it 2-0.
In the fifth inning, the BlueClaws added a run of insurance as Susdof grabbed his second RBI of the day, driving in Gose with a single to the opposite field.
Velasquez (8-2) was brilliant in his seven innings of work on Monday as he allowed just one hit and one walk while striking out six and not allowing a run. The win is his eighth and it keeps him in first place in that category in the South Atlantic League. Rob Roth, in his first action since being placed on the disabled list on April 28th, pitched two outs in the eighth, before walking two batters and taken out for BJ Rosenberg who ended the inning. Rosenberg pitched the ninth and picked up his eighth save.
Jack McGeary (0-5) was in search of his first win of the season, and didn't pitch poorly despite picking up the loss. He went into the fifth and allowed one run in each of three innings. He was relieved by Kevin Light and Carlos Peralta who kept the Suns in the game as they did not allow a run. Osvaldo Rodriguez also pitched a clean eighth to keep the game close.
With the win, the BlueClaws remain at least 2.5 games ahead in the South Atlantic League Northern Division, potentially more, with just 15 games remaining on their first half schedule.
The BlueClaws will continue their four-game series on Tuesday at 7:05pm as they will send All-Star pitcher Tyler Cloyd (6-2) to the mound. Cloyd has won five straight decisions. He will be opposed by Major League pitcher Matt Chico (0-0), who will be pitching on a rehab assignment with the Suns. Chico was the opening day starter for the Washington Nationals in 2008 and has made 39 starts for the Nationals.
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