Baysox's bats wake up in 11-2 victory Senators lose second in a row


Two nights ago, the Harrisburg Senators scored six runs the first time they batted and wiped out a Bowie Baysox lead to take the suspended first game of a doubleheader.

But the uprising also had a reverse effect; it gave the Baysox a wake-up call.

Bowie became the first team to shut out the Senators this season in the second game of Tuesday's doubleheader, and followed last night by blasting Miguel Batista and his successors for 16 hits to take the rubber game of the Double-A Eastern League series, 11-2, before 1,747 at Memorial Stadium.

It marked the worst back-to-back losses of the year for Harrisburg (51-18), which has the best record in professional baseball. The nine-run difference was the biggest of the year against the Senators, matching a 15-6 defeat to the Canton-Akron Indians.

"There is gratification in beating the first-place club," said Bowie manager Don Buford. "It says to our players they can compete against anybody."

The Senators played without two of their best players, Cliff Floyd (Eastern League home run leader) and Shane Andrews. But that did not diminish the offensive assault by the Baysox, who salvaged a 5-5 record from a 10-game homestand.

The beneficiary was Jose Mercedes, a highly regarded, 22-year-old right-hander who gained his first Double-A victory after almost three months of frustration.

"I was happy with my performance," said Mercedes through interpreter Sherman Obando. "I wasn't having a lot of fun early in the season, but things are working out now. I have faith that they will."

In his previous four starts, Mercedes had given up 22 earned runs in 22 2/3 innings and squandered three-run leads in each game.

That included a start at Harrisburg two weekends ago, when he had a 4-1 edge in the fourth inning, lost it by yielding four runs, then was ejected from the game in the fifth.

This time, the Baysox made certain he had plenty of backing, pounding Batista for 11 hits and nine runs in five innings with every member of the starting nine scoring or driving in at least one run.

Every Bowie player who batted had one hit except designated hitterT. R. Lewis, who collected two RBI on a ground ball and a sacrifice fly.

Mercedes fell behind 1-0 in the second when Randy Wilstead hit a shot that ricocheted off the pitcher's foot into right field to bring in a run.

The Baysox matched that in the bottom half with a two-out rally capped by Tim Holland's bad-hop single past Mitch Simons, who had a tough night while replacing the resting Andrews.

Bowie (37-30) took control of the game in the third with a three-run splurge that featured a two-run single by Sherman Obando -- in his final appearance of a 20-day rehabilitation assignment before returning to the Orioles.

Obando finished with a .241 average and 12 RBI in 19 games with Bowie and said he benefitted from the rehab assignment for a hamstring injury.

"The hamstring is fine, I'm still in shape and I got to play every day with a lot of at-bats," said Obando. "So far I still don't have the stance back that I had before the DL, but I'm starting to feel more comfortable."

Copyright © 2020, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad