Scrappers shut out by Spikes, 4-0
STATE COLLEGE - Mahoning Valley's offense struggled again on the road against the second opponent they've faced this year. The result was a 4-0 loss on Friday night to the State College Spikes, the short season Single-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Scrappers' lost their second straight game due to a lack of offense, and for the fourth consecutive game the Scrappers' failed to score more than two runs against their opponent.
New Scrappers second baseman Robel Garcia and highly touted number one draft pick center fielder Tyler Naquin were in the lineup. Juan Romero was moved to the clean-up spot due to his early season success; however, he struggled mightily on Friday night going 0-for-3 with three strikeouts.
The Scrappers failed to capitalize early in the game as Jairo Kelly was thrown out at home and Charlie Valerio was left stranded at second in the first inning. Mahoning Valley only managed one hit through the next five innings as Spikes pitchers' Clay Holmes and Thomas Harlan stymied the Scrappers' offense.
Mahoning Valley had a chance to score in the seventh inning. With runners on first and second and a late game comeback on the Scrappers' mind, the Spikes made a strategic pitcher change to reliever Thomas Harlan. Unfortunately, Harlan managed to get Erik Gonzalez to fly out and weasel his way out of a late inning jam.
Mahoning Valley's pitching was not much better than their hitting on a cloudy Friday night at Medlar Field located in the park at Penn State University.
Robbie Aviles made his first start of the young season and was credited with the loss. Aviles had a hard time against the Spikes' hitters giving up five hits and three earned runs in only four innings of work. Josh Martin came in to relieve Aviles of duty in the bottom of the fifth. Martin had a steady showing as he only gave up four hits and one earned run earned run through four innings of work.
The Scrappers will look to rebound in a rematch against the Spikes on Saturday. The game starts at 7:05 pm eastern and the weather forecast looks beautiful.