A second consecutive 5-4 loss to the Richmond Flying Squirrels on Tuesday night drops the Bowie Baysox to 1-5 on the season.
Starting pitcher Tim Bascom made his second start of the season for Bowie, surrendering three earned runs on six hits with five strikeouts in his six innings of work. He left the game with a 3-3 deadlock as Bowie used four relief pitchers to finish the game.
Offensively, Bowie has struggled to put runs on the board through six games this season. They have been outscored by opponents 36-19 and have scored just one run past the seventh inning. That one run came in Tuesday's loss on a Tyler Townsend ground out that scored leadoff man Travis Adair
On the contrary, Bowie's bullpen has allowed 18 runs in the eighth and ninth innings in 2012.
The five-game skid has been rough on the whole team, and Manager Gary Kendall spoke about it following the game. It hurts, you like to get a lead and defend it, especially at home. But it's been a struggle for us early on.
I like what we did offensively. We battled. We hit a lot better and drew some walks. We just couldn't execute when we needed to, Kendall said on the Baysox' misfortunes.
Shortstop Manny Machado went down swinging with men on second and third to end the game in the bottom of the ninth inning. Second baseman-converted-outfielder L.J. Hoes moved the runners over with a ground out to second base, but Richmond reliever Austin Fleet fanned Machado to earn his first save of the season.
A slow start buried Hoes in the previous five games of the season (3-for-18, 1 RBI, 1 run scored), but he came out and went 2-for-4 with a run. He reached base three times-was hit by a pitch in the sixth inning-and set up No. 4 hitter Machado with runners in scoring position in both the eighth and ninth innings.
Even when he wasn't getting on base, he was hitting the ball hard. His fly out to centerfield in the fourth inning carried all the way to the warning track before Richmond centerfield Gary Brown tracked it down.
Hoes was very open about his early-season struggles following the game, and knows what the Baysox will have to do in order to snap the losing streak Wednesday.
We just need to get some timely hits. Our pitchers are keeping us in the game, we just haven't gotten it done offensively and need to bring some runners in.
He seems to be making the position transition nicely as well, after playing second base most of his career. At the beginning of last season he moved from second to the outfield, making 2012 his second season at the position.
I'm definitely feeling more comfortable. Being at big league camp this Spring and being around guys like Adam Jones and Nick Markakis helped with learning the ins and outs of the position.
He will continue to be one of the most looked at position players in Bowie this season as he is continually improving on his fielding skills in centerfield.
Bobby Bundy will be looking to break the cold streak as he takes the mound Wednesday in the finale of Bowie's seven-game home stand. The game will begin at 11:05 a.m.