Four games into the 2014 season and the Aberdeen IronBirds are still looking for their first victory. The latest loss was Monday night, 2-1, in 15 innings at Hudson Valley.
The IronBirds, the New York-Penn League's reigning McNamara Division champs, kicked off their new campaign Friday with a 2-1 loss. Then on Saturday dropped the second of four games at Hudson Valley, 4-3. Sunday's loss was 4-2. Monday's extra-inning loss capped Aberdeen's four-game series with Hudson Valley. For their next three games, the IronBirds will play at Staten Island, then return home for their home-opener, a 7:35 p.m. game with Brooklyn.
Monday's marathon at Hudson Valley was scoreless until the top of the eighth, when Andrickson Zorrilla led off with a single. After moving to third on an infield error, Zorrilla scored on Jay Gonzalez's groundout to second.
With Aberdeen reliever Nik Nowottnick on the mound in the bottom of the ninth, Hudson Valley tied the game. The game was knotted until the bottom of the 15th when Hudson Valley tagged reliever Dioni Dominguez (0-1) for the game-winning run on a single, a stolen base, a throwing error and a wild pitch.
Aberdeen starter Augey Bill struck out four, walked one and scattered six hits in a no-decision.
Brady Adamek threw 1-1/3 inning of relief, allowing two hits, striking out one and walking one. Derrick Bleeker twirled one perfect inning out of the IronBirds' bullpen, while Alex Santana allowed one hit in one inning of work. Over two innings, Nowottnick allowed three hits. Eric Green worked three innings in relief for Aberdeen, striking out six, walking two and holding the hosts hitless.
Hector Veloz, the only IronBird with multiple hits, went 2-for-4 with two singles. Stephen Wilkerson was 1-for-5 with a double, Aberdeen's lone extra-base hit.
The IronBirds went 0-for-10 with men in scoring position, and left 10 stranded.
Bundy returns to mound
Dylan Bundy, the Baltimore Orioles' first-round pick of the 2011 draft, who was sidelines for a year following Tommy John surgery, made his return to the mound Sunday. Bundy started for Aberdeen at Hudson Valley, holding the Renegades to one run over five innings, but got the loss as the IronBirds mustered just four hits in a 4-2 defeat.
Bundy (0-1), who pitched in two games with the Orioles in 2012 after being selected fourth overall in the 2011 draft, struck out six, did not allow a walk and surrendered a single earned run on five hits. Prior to the game, the 21-year-old righty said he had been told by club officials how long he would be allowed to stay on the mound in Saturday's game, and how long he would be rehabbing with the IronBirds.
"It's going to be four innings, or 75 pitches, whichever comes first," Bundy said at a press conference in Aberdeen. "I'm going to make either three or four starts [with Aberdeen]."
Aberdeen skipper Matt Merullo said Bundy's next start would come at Ripken Stadium.
"After the Sunday game with Hudson Valley, we're going to have Dylan pitch again when we get back home, on Saturday [June, 21]," Merullo said.
Sunday's loss was the third straight for Aberdeen (0-3), which has one more game with Hudson Valley on Monday before moving on to play a three-game set at Staten Island. The IronBirds' home-opener will be at 7:35 p.m. Friday against the Brooklyn Cyclones.
After Bundy's departure, Aberdeen reliever Stefan Crichton came on in the sixth and surrendered three earned runs, allowing the hosts to take a 4-0 advantage. Over two innings, Crichton struck out two, walked one and allowed four hits.
Ivan Hernandez tossed one inning of relief for Aberdeen, striking out all three hitters he faced.
Both of Aberdeen's runs came in the top of the ninth. Elias Torres put the IronBirds on the board, scoring from third on Jonah Heim's sacrifice fly, and Manny Hernandez made it home on a wild pitch for the visitors' final tally. Aberdeen's Sam Kimmel struck out to end the game with the tying run at first base.
Alex Mercedes, the lone IronBird with multiple hits, went 2-for-4 with a double.
Topped in extras