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Blaine Knight strong over 5 innings, but IronBirds fall, 9-4, Friday

IronBirds player Johnny Rizer hit his second home run of the 2021 season during Friday night's 9-4 loss to Hudson Valley.
IronBirds player Johnny Rizer hit his second home run of the 2021 season during Friday night's 9-4 loss to Hudson Valley. (Brian Krista / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

The Aberdeen IronBirds squandered another fine starting pitching effort Friday night in a 9-4 loss to host Hudson Valley in High-A East Minor League Baseball action.

Aberdeen (7-3) starter Blaine Knight tossed five innings of one-hit baseball, striking out. four, but the Renegades (5-5) jumped all over a pair of Aberdeen middle relievers for nine runs (eight earned), nine hits (three home runs) and three walks over two and two-third innings.

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Nick Roth (0-1) gave up five hits and five runs, including a pair of home runs in an inning of work, while Morgan McSweeney allowed four hits, four runs (three earned) and three walks over an inning and two-thirds. McSweeney struck out three.

Easton Lucas struck out the lone batter he faced.

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Aberdeen had leads of 2-0 and 4-2 in the game. Johnny Rizer hit a solo homer leading off the fourth and Joseph Ortiz doubled and scored on a A.J. Graffanino sacrifice fly for the 2-0 lead.

Hudson Valley evened the score in the sixth on Oliver Dunn’s two-run home run.

Aberdeen, though, went back ahead in the seventh. Graffanino led off with a single and Toby Welk tripled him in. Andrew Martinez then doubled to plate Welk.

Unfortunately, Oswald Peraza is a name the IronBirds will likely want to forget. Peraza hit a pair of two-run homers in back-to-back innings to put the Renegades in the win column. In four games, Peraza has hit four home runs off Aberdeen pitching.

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Aberdeen was outhit, 10-6, and they committed a season-high three errors.

The IronBirds and Renegades will meet for game five tonight (Saturday) at 6:05 p.m. The series finale is scheduled for 4:35 p.m. Sunday. Aberdeen will have an off day Monday and celebrate the home opener on Tuesday at Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.

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