Slumping Baysox again run into trouble, 3-2 Drought continues in loss to N. Britain


The Bowie Baysox combined effective pitching and a resourceful offense to reach playoff contention in the Double-A Eastern League.

They still are receiving the pitching, but the offense is spinning its wheels at the moment.

Yesterday, the Baysox managed four hits, three in their lone scoring inning, and lost to the New Britain Red Sox, 3-2, before 3,494 fans at Memorial Stadium.

The defeat completed a five-game series (including the makeup of a suspended game) in which New Britain, the league's last-place team, won three times and rationed the Baysox to 21 hits and 10 runs in 36 innings.

The only time the Baysox (42-37) scored yesterday, Max Patkin, for 50 years billed as "The Clown Prince of Baseball," was doing his act in the third-base coaching box.

"We're just not putting hits together to generate the runs," said Bowie manager Don Buford. "We haven't had any player step forward. You can't win if you don't swing the bat."

The Baysox had a chance to break a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the seventh when Edgar Alfonzo led off with a double against Brent Hansen and Jason Alstead was walked intentionally after Stanton Cameron struck out.

Tim Holland got the runners to third and second with a ground out to the right side, but Cesar Devarez flew to right to end the threat.

Buford considered batting for Devarez, a .176 hitter, but changed his mind. "With less than two outs I would have," Buford said. "But you only get one shot there."

New Britain (30-50) then scored the winning run in the eighth on the first of three walks permitted by Tommy Taylor, a sacrifice and Bryan Brown's looping single to right.

It could have been worse, but Taylor left the bases loaded with an inning-ending strikeout.

The Baysox feuded with the umpiring crew all weekend and T. R. Lewis was tossed from the game by umpire Eric Cooper yesterday after protesting for being called out on strikes to end the eighth.

Buford said he thought Taylor was being "squeezed" at times, but said he "can't blame everything on the umpiring. When it's like that, you have to go up there swinging. Our guys haven't made the adjustment."

The attack should improve in a few days when catcher Gregg Zaun, a .323 batter, is reactivated from the disabled list after missing three weeks with a sore elbow.

* Saturday recap: Baysox pitching coach John O'Donoghue was ejected one out from the finish and nerves were edgy when Saturday night's doubleheader ended at 1:01 yesterday morning.

New Britain rallied from 2-0 and 3-2 deficits to win the nightcap, 4-3, on a bases-loaded walk to Jim Morrison after the Baysox took the opener, 3-2, on a bases-loaded, eighth-inning walk to Alfonzo.

The marathon included a one-hour, 38-minute rain delay during the seventh inning of the first game.

Bowie closer Rafael Chaves issued a double to Jim Crowley and three walks after relieving starter Jose Mercedes, bringing the Baysox into conflict with the umpiring crew of Cooper, Doug Eddings and Brad Geaslin.

Eddings (at home plate) banished O'Donoghue, who was in the dugout at the time.

Buford said Chaves thought several of the pitches called balls were strikes and that Eddings seemed to "have two different strike zones. There's not a thing you can do about it.

"We had one [umpire] tell one of our players to peel off and go toward the outfield on a double-play ball in Reading last week. And they use some ugly language. There is no reason for them to be combative."

O'Donoghue said that "the umpires never seem to try to improve" and that Eddings was "yelling in at the players" during the incident. "It seems like they see more in the dugout than on the field."

He made reference to a balk call made by Geaslin earlier in the game against Red Sox pitcher Frank Rodriguez that was erased by Eddings.

"He told us we were insulting his integrity," said O'Donoghue. "When he overruled his own man, what was that?"

Rodriguez, a highly touted No. 1 draft choice, went the distance to get his second victory over Bowie (the first was a shutout). Chaves took his third loss.

The Baysox gained their early leads on a two-run homer by Sam Ferretti and a run-scoring triple by Brad Tyler, his 13th of the year.

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