After winning three straight games on the road, the Wilmington Blue Rocks could not make it four as the Rocks got demolished 11-2 by the Salem Red Sox on Monday night.
Foster Griffin was the starter for the Rocks who has been dominating hitters lately by only giving up 1 ER, 5 hits and striking out 14 in his last two starts.
In Monday’s game,Griffin struggled and lacked the consistency that had brought him success in his first two starts of the season.
Griffin pitched 1.1 innings, 7 hits, 8 runs, 8 ER, 3 BBs and allowed 1 HR in the loss vs the Red Sox.
After Griffin exited the game, the bullpen of Colin Rodgers and Richard Lovelady threw a combined 6.2 innings, 8 hits, 3 runs, 3 ER, 3 BBs and 6 Ks in the loss.
Wilmington’s manager Jamie Quirk on Foster Griffin and how the bullpen handled things in the loss.
“We don’t have to use too many guys out of the bullpen and it worked out well. We only had to use two relievers to finish the game which was great for tomorrow and the next day. That was the biggest thing. (Colin) Rodgers gave us three plus and (Richard) Lovelady gave us three. That’s the biggest thing is how are we going to get through this when your starter goes one plus (innings).”
“I thought with the tight strike zone, by no means am I blaming the umpire, but he (Griffin) thought he was going to get some pitches that he didn’t get and I think that messed with him a little bit and he thought he had to throw more pitches over the plate. He didn’t have quality pitches tonight, that was the main thing. It was the first time we saw Salem and they have a lot of good hitters, a lot of high averages early in the year. They took advantage of his poor command and got him.”
While Wilmington’s pitching struggled, their offense did nothing to help the cause by only scoring 2 runs on 6 hits in the game.
The Rocks offense was quiet most of the game until the 5th inning when the offense finally showed up.
Rocks scored their first run with Third Baseman Wander Franco hitting a triple to center field to score Right Fielder Anderson Miller. Then Left Fielder Roman Collins grounded out to score Franco which would be Rocks last score of the day.
Wilmington’s manager Quirk on Wander Franco and the grit of the offense even in the blowout loss.
“I told him (Franco) that was very nice (on hustling for infield single). He got a hit out of it, he hustled in a game that got out of control but he got a hit out of it and it was good for him.”
On team’s quality at-bats despite lopsided game: “I definitely thought that nobody gave up. It was an ugly game but you have to play nine innings and compete. They did that. You are going to have games like that and you have to forget about it. I told Foster (Griffin) just erase it from his memory bank. Get ready to pitch in five days and go from there. I’ll tell the guys that it’s one game and I don’t care if it was 2-1 or 11-2, we have been playing good baseball. We show up tomorrow and go get them.”
Rocks went 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position and left 7 men on base for the game.
Wilmington looks to even the series tomorrow vs Salem. First Pitch is at 7:05 ET.