Special to the Press
BRISTOL - After a go-ahead three-run homer from Jayson Gonzalez, the Blues were not able to hold on as they lost against the Worcester Bravehearts on Monday night at Muzzy Field, 5-4.
Blues pitchers walked 10 batters throughout the game, lacking control in the strike zone.
The Bravehearts got on the board early against Blues starter Malachi Edmond, who labored for much of the first inning and throughout the game.
Trevor Johnson reached base after an error by Garret Blaylock to start the game. One batter later, with runners on second and third for Greg Kocinski, he lined a sacrifice fly to put the Blues in a quick 1-0 hole. John Friday hit an RBI groundout to extend the lead to 2-0.
The Blues were in the making of answering back in the bottom of the inning. After two quick outs, Bravehearts starter Justin Willis walked back-to-back batters to put runners on base for Gonzalez. But Mitch Guilmette was caught stealing third to end the threat.
The Bravehearts put some pressure on Edmond again in the second as they put runners on first and second with one out, but this time the young righthander was able to work out of trouble by striking out the next two batters.
The Blues wasted another opportunity in the second. With runners on first and second and only one out, both Kyle Pileski and Nick Roy were retired to leave both runners stranded on base for the second time in the game.
Defensive miscues cost the Blues in the third. After a one-out single, back-to-back errors from the Blues infield loaded up the bases for the Bravehearts. But Edmond was able to bail out his defense by striking out Nicholas Barry and grounding out Mariano Ricciardi to escape the inning unscathed.
Edmond’s final line was four innings, allowing two runs, both unearned, for the no-decision. He struck out four batters, but walked five.
The Blues stole a run in the fourth after putting runners on first and third. Guilmette stole second and Mark Tumosa stole home to cut the deficit in half, 2-1.
The Blues broke through in the fifth, after chasing Willis out of the game. With one out and a runner on base, R.J Hall came on in relief and walked a batter and got an out. But he was not able to contain Gonzalez, who hit a three-run homer to give the Blues a 4-2 lead.
But the Bravehearts tied the game right back on a two-run single by Pat Demarco off Joel Torres, who came on in relief of Edmond in the fifth.
The Bravehearts took the lead in the seventh on an RBI single by Greg Kocinski.
The Blues threatened in the seventh to tie the game and possibly take the lead. With runners on first and second with one out, Mitch Williams grounded into an inning-ending double play.
The Blues wasted another of their many opportunities to cash in a run in the eighth as Tumosa left Chris Davis, who came into the game to pinch run for Pileski, stranded on second as the tying run.
The Blues were retired 1-2-3 in the ninth.
Kimberly Pena can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org On Twitter: @Kimberly_P12