WILMINGTON, Del. -- The Frederick Keys' quest to make the Carolina League playoffs is over.
The Keys placed themselves in jeopardy with three infield errors in the first two innings and went on to a 10-1 loss to the Wilmington Blue Rocks last night that eliminated them from the Northern Division's second-half pennant race.
Wilmington (37-30) poured it on after being spotted a 3-0 lead because of the early miscues.
A two-out, three-run uprising against Jason Rogers (7-8) in the third built the margin to 6-0, and Al Shirley led off the sixth with his 16th homer.
The loss was Rogers' fourth this season to the Blue Rocks, whom he has not beaten. He allowed nine runs, but only four were earned.
Matt Saier (9-9) pitched six strong innings, allowing three hits, and cruised to his third victory in four decisions against the Keys, who fell 3 1/2 games behind Wilmington with three to play.
Frederick had one opportunity to get into the game, filling the bases in the third on a double by Jason LeCronier, a single by Mike Gargiulo and a hit batter. But Saier struck out Carlos Akins and Rick Short and Shirley made a nice diving catch on Tony Tarasco's sinking liner to end the threat.
It was Judy Johnson Night at Frawley Stadium, and the teams wore Negro League-replica uniforms of the Homestead Grays (Frederick) and Kansas City Monarchs (Wilmington).
Tarasco went 1-for-4, singling in the ninth and scoring the Keys' run on an outfield error. He is batting .280 in his rehabilitation assignment.
Pub Date: 9/01/96