Baysox on brink after 6-4 loss to Indians Game 4 tonight

At least there were very few witnesses.

With the Orioles embroiled in a sizzling pennant race, only 505 showed up at Memorial Stadium last night to watch the Bowie Baysox reach the brink of elimination from the Double-A Eastern League playoffs.


Canton-Akron built a 5-0 lead on the impetus of Patrick Lennon's second-inning homer and held on for a 6-4 victory, its second in the best-of-five semifinal series.

The Baysox, with one victory in the series, must win Game 4 here tonight to avoid being ousted.


Canton-Akron won only three of 10 games against Bowie at Memorial Stadium during the regular season, but had an effective starter, Paul Abbott, going in this one.

Form held as Abbott -- 2-0 against Bowie -- out-dueled Jose Mercedes for the second time this year and benefited from two plays that kept the Baysox scoreless through six innings.

A line-drive out by Bo Ortiz turned into a double play during a third-inning threat when Jim Wawruck, who was attempting to steal, couldn't return to first in time.

Then, in the sixth Ortiz was thrown out at the plate on a perfect throw by Indians left fielder Julio Peguero to squelch another uprising.

Those two plays proved important later when the Baysox rallied to knock out Abbott and pull to within 5-4 by the eighth on a two-run triple by Cesar Devarez, a run-scoring single by Edgar Alfonzo and a throwing error by David Bell.

"This was a tough one to lose, especially because of all the mistakes we made," said Bowie manager Don Buford. "We just didn't get the runs home when we had the chances."

Miguel Flores offset the Bowie rallies for the Indians by hitting a ninth-inning homer off Dave Paveloff to put it away.

Flores also had a double and two singles to lead Canton-Akron's 11-hit attack.


NOTES: The Baysox have added relief pitcher Armando Benitez and outfielder Alex Ochoa of the Frederick Keys, who were eliminated from the Carolina League playoffs Monday.

Benitez was a sensation with the Albany (Ga.) Polecats and the Keys, combining for an 8-1 record, 18 saves, a 1.34 ERA and 112 strikeouts in 67 innings.

Ochoa spent the entire season with Frederick, batting .276 with 13 home runs, 90 RBI (second in the league) and 34 stolen bases, second to teammate Curtis Goodwin.

To make room on the roster, OF Stanton Cameron was placed on the disabled list. Cameron (sprained ankle) will not play in the Canton-Akron series, but might be available to be a designated hitter if the Baysox advance to the final. He is the team's top home run-hitter with 21, including five against the Indians. . . . Annapolis native Rick Forney, who made one regular-season start for the Baysox, goes tonight.

If the series reaches a fifth game, Baltimore-born Daryl Smith gets the assignment.