It was the kind of night at Canal Park that neither the Aeros nor the Bowie Baysox pitching staffs would like to remember.
In every one of the pitcher’s defenses, consider that many hits were aided by a stiff wind most of the evening that kept the trio of flags in left center field hung at half-mast fluttering throughout the four-hour and 15-minute affair.
But that’s the only slack being cut for the combined eight pitchers who allowed 24 runs on 35 hits in a game that needed extra innings before Bowie took advantage of a bad-hop single at first base in their two-run 10th inning to escape with a 13-11 victory.
Every batter in Bowie’s line up garnered at least one hit, led by designated hitter Caleb Joseph’s 3-for-6 night that included two home runs and four RBI.
Not to be outdone, only one Aeros batter went hitless in six at-bats in left fielder Quincy Latimore and first baseman Chun Chen matched Joseph’s home run total in going 2-for-5 with three RBI.
“Our offense has been doing a good job lately,” new Aeros manager Edwin Rodriguez said. “We came from behind three times (Wednesday) at Trenton to win the game there and tonight was the same. We were battling out there and scored enough runs to win.”
Aeros newcomer and catcher Chris Wallace also made a quick name for himself in his Canal Park debut, going 4-for-6 with two runs scored and RBI.
But for as much as the Aeros offense (minus Latimore) will love what the game did for their batting averages, the pitchers won’t want to look at their respective ERA’s in at least a week. For, it wasn’t starting pitcher Paolo Espino’s night, or the night of the Aeros bullpen.
To his credit, the veteran Espino battled through five innings to limit the early damage. The right-hander allowed nine hits, but held the Baysox to just three runs, including stranding all three runners with the bases loaded in the fourth inning.
“Espino has been inconsistent with his stuff, but he’s been able to keep us in the game,” Rodriguez said. “But we were also facing one of the best-hitting clubs in the league. They’ve already scored 90-plus runs. Considering that, Espino did a heck of a job.”
The Aeros quickly found that starter Eddie Gamboa didn’t have his best stuff either. In his five-inning outing, he dished up six runs on nine hits – including a pair of home runs. But things got really ugly on both sides of the field once the first line of relievers came on.
Espino’s replacement – the 6-foot-6 Cole Cook – gave up four runs on five hits in just 1 2/3 innings and Gamboa’s replacement, Andy Loomis, dished up four runs in 1 1/3 innings as the team’s traded five-run frames in the seventh inning.
But while the Aeros bullpen dished up five more runs the rest of the way (including the usual lights out Edward Parades joining the mess in allowing two runs in just 1/3 of an inning), Bowie’s bullpen shut out the Aeros over the final three innings.
“It was a combination of things,” Rodriguez said of the Aeros bullpen having an off night while facing the 12-team Eastern League’s top-hitting club that entered the game with a combined .302 batting average. “The bullpen threw a lot of innings yesterday, so we came in short today. That’s why Brett Brach had to go out there and give us three innings.”