The Wilmington Blue Rocks came out swinging ( literally) in Tuesday’s 8-3 road win against the Frederick Keys.
The early innings of the game is where the Rocks did the most damage with scoring five runs in the first two innings.
Wilmington’s offense did this against a rehabbing Baltimore Orioles pitcher Chris Tillman who was rocked on Tuesday.
Tillman’s stats for the game were 6.1 innings pitched, five hits, six runs, four earned runs, three walks, four strikeouts and one home run.
Rocks offense seems to be at their best when facing rehabbing Major League Baseball starting pitchers which Rocks Assistant Director of Broadcasting/Media Relations Cory Nidoh points out in the tweet below.
FWIW, the @WilmBlueRocks have faced a pair of big-league rehabbers in the 2nd half of the season in Jeremy Hellickson on 6/24 and Chris Tillman tonight.
The offense has combined to score 17 runs on 14 hits, with four XBH including three homers.
— Cory Nidoh (@Cory_Nidoh) July 11, 2018
If you thought Tillman’s night was bad, well Hellickson’s rehab start against the Rocks in June was worse as he went 4.2 innings, nine hits, 11 runs, 11 ER, three walks, four strikeouts and two home runs.
Some of the standouts for the Rocks in the win against the Keys were right fielder Nick Heath, first baseman Travis Jones and left fielder Vance Vizcaino.
Heath had one run, two hits, one home run, one walk, two strikeouts and two RBIs in four at bats in the win.
Jones had two runs, one hit and one walk in two at bats in the win.
Vizcaino had two runs, two hits and one RBI in four at bats in the win.
Rocks starting pitcher Nolan Watson had a pretty solid outing going seven innings, ten hits, three runs, three earned runs, one walk, three strikeouts, one home run and earned his second win of the year.
Rocks Offense Hot Early
The Blue Rocks did not waste any time getting a run on the board with left fielder Nick Heath (who was the first batter for the team) hit a solo home run to put the Rocks up 1-0 in the first inning.
The Keys lineup were shut down in the first inning by Rocks starting pitcher Nolan Watson.
Wilmington continued the momentum they had in the first with adding four more runs in the second inning to increase their lead to 5-0.
The first score of the second inning came from short stop Angelo Castellano who hit into a sacrifice fly to score catcher Meibrys Viloria which made the score 2-0 Rocks.
Then, the next score for Wilmington came from left fielder Vance Vizcaino who hit a line drive single to center field which scored first baseman Travis Jones to increase Rocks lead to 3-0.
Rocks next score came from the always reliable third baseman D.J. Burt who hit into a sacrifice fly to score center fielder Rudy Martin to increase the team’s lead to 4-0.
The last run of the inning came from a wild pitch from Keys pitcher Chris Tillman which allowed Vizcaino to score to increase the Rocks lead to 5-0.
Watson’s One Bad inning
Rocks starting pitcher Nolan Watson was rolling in the first three innings of the game with Frederick’s hitters not able to get a run across in those innings.
In the bottom of the fourth inning that would change as Watson would give up a three run home run which would decrease Rocks lead to 5-3.
Keys third baseman Alejandro Juvier hit the three run bomb for his team.
This would be the last time Watson would give up any runs in the game.
As we mentioned earlier, Watson went seven innings, ten hits, three runs, three earned runs, one walk, three strikeouts, one home run and earned his second win of the year.
Rocks Offense Not Done Yet
The Rocks offense was quiet for a while after the hot start early on but in top of the sixth, the team added some breathing room to their lead when Martin hit a single to right field to score Jones which increased Rocks lead to 6-3.
After the seventh inning, Rocks pitcher Corey Ray came in to relieve Watson which he went one inning, two hits, one strikeout and earned his second hold of the year.
Then in the top of the ninth, Wilmington added two more runs to their lead against the Keys.
The first run batted in the ninth inning was by Heath who hit a single to center field to score Castellano which increased Rocks lead to 7-3.
The last run of the game for the Rocks would be batted in by second baseman Gabriel Cancel who grounded out to score Vizcaino which increased Rocks lead to 9-3.
In the bottom of the ninth, it was all up to Rocks reliever Julio Pinto to lock the door on this win and he did just that by going one inning, one hit and two strikeouts.
Rocks continue the series with the Keys tomorrow at Nymeo Field with the first pitch at 7:00pm ET.