Scrappers drop fifth straight, fall 4-2
Hambrick throws third straight strong outing, but Mahoning Valley bullpen surrenders lead
Niles, OH – Averaging just over two runs per-game since the All-Star break, it’s fair to say the Mahoning Valley Scrappers offense has struggled as of late. Those struggles continued Tuesday night, and the Scrappers lost 4-2 to the Jamestown Jammers for their fifth straight loss.
Starting pitcher Caleb Hamrick hurled his third straight strong outing, but the bullpen couldn’t hold the lead. The former eighth-round pick allowed just one through six innings, a solo shot to first-baseman Edwin Espinal in the top of the fifth. The righty lowered his season ERA to 3.75 in the process.
In the top of the seventh, with Hamrick out of the game, Jamestown took advantage of relief pitcher Carlos Melo. The righty out of the Dominican Republic was making his first appearance with Mahoning Valley, and things did not go smoothly.
Cleanup man Jin-De Jhang led the inning off with a double and later scored on a Wyatt Mathisen single. Michael Fransoso reached on a fielder’s choice, stole second base, and scored on an Erich Weiss single to left field.
The two runs gave the Jammers a 3-2 lead and they didn’t look back. Melo threw two innings, allowing three hits and two runs. He struck out one. Trevor Frank allowed an insurance run in the top half of the ninth that sealed the deal for Jamestown.
The Mahoning Valley offense, which has had trouble distributing runs throughout the 2013 season, failed to produce much against starting pitcher Chad Kuhl and the rest of the Jamestown staff. The two runs scored in the fourth inning were both unearned on a throwing error by Weiss.
Claudio Bauista, hitting in the two hole, was the only hitter in the lineup to produce multiple hits, finishing the day going 2-for-4 with a run scored. James Roberts had a double and scored a run, while Robel Garcia and Paul Hendrix each had an RBI.
On the day, the offense as a whole struck-out nine times compared to just one walk.
For Jamestown, Kuhl threw five innings, surrendering four hits and two runs (zero earned). Axel Diaz earned his fourth win of the season in relief, throwing two innings of hitless ball. Brett McKinney tacked on his eighth save of the year, throwing a perfect ninth inning while striking out the side.
The offense pushed out seven hits, including three for extra-bases. Jhang led the way, going 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two doubles. Mathisen added two hits and two RBI’s, while Erich Weiss notched his tenth RBI of the year.
With the loss, the Scrappers fall to 23-35, 12.5 games out of first place and the wild-card race. Jamestown moves to 36-23, tied for first place in the Pinckney division with the State College Spikes. The teams will meet again Wednesday in game two of the three-game set. First pitch is set for 7:05 at Eastwood Field.