NEW BRITAIN - It took just one inning for the game to unravel for the New Britain Bees Wednesday night.
Eric Fornataro and Jason Jarvis combined to allowed six runs in the fourth as the Bees fell 10-6 to the Bridgeport Bluefish.
For Fornataro, it was a step back.
After compiling his best starts of the season in his last two outings in which he went five-plus innings, the right-hander struggled against the Bluefish. Fornataro lasted just three-plus innings and was charged with four hits and five runs - four of which came in the fourth. He also walked three batters compared to just one strikeout.
The Bees starter began the fourth by walking Jonathan Galvez and then surrendered a double to Jose Gil. Another walk, this time to Tony Abreu, and a base hit by Angelys Nina ended his night with his pitch count at 64.
Out of his five starts this season, Fornataro has surrendered three or more runs before the fifth three times.
Things went just as poorly for Jarvis.
He entered the game with the bases loaded and after getting the first out of the inning, gave up a sacrifice fly to Ozney Guillen followed by three straight RBI base hits. All four runs were charged to Fornataro (0-2).
Jarvis came back out in the fifth, only to give up two more run on base hits by Abreu and Luis Hernandez. Abreu also had an RBI groundout in the second for the game’s first run. In his two innings of work, Jarvis was charged with four runs on seven hits and the Bees trailed 9-1.
New Britain started to put some runs back on the board beginning in the bottom of the fifth, managing to cut their deficit to as little as three by the time the top of the ninth rolled around. But by then, the damage had been done.
Michael Crouse hit a two-run home run to cut the Bees deficit to 9-3 off Bridgeport starter Chris Rearick (1-1). An inning later, Jonathan Griffin and Steve Carrillo each singled in a run off Zac Grotz to bring the score to 9-5.
For Carrillo, it was his second RBI of the night. He provided the team’s first run back in the second on a groundout to second. Conor Bierfeldt brought the score to 9-6 with an RBI double in the seventh to score Craig Maddox.
But the Bees' real trouble came from the middle of their order. New Britain’s three through seven hitters went a combined 4-for-20 with two RBI. The top two and bottom two of the order, meanwhile, went 7-for-17 with four RBI.
The only other bright spot for the Bees was reliever Mike Hepple, who provided his best outing of the season. The Newington native entered the game in the sixth and pitched three shutout innings to bring his scoreless streak to nine out of the bullpen. He struck out two and walked one.
Gil’s RBI single off Brandon League in the top of the ninth, however, put New Britain behind four runs once again. And in their final at-bats of the game, the Bees were retired in order.
David Glovach can be reached at (860) 801-5085 or firstname.lastname@example.org
On Twitter: @DavidGlovach