The Wilmington Blue Rocks (27-30) defeated the Jersey Shore Blue Claws (29-28) 7-0 on Tuesday night after returning home from a two week road trip.
Coming into Tuesday night, the Rocks had lost five of their previous six games to the Greensboro Grasshoppers but wasted no time taking advantage of being back home.
The Rocks got things going in the bottom of the second. A leadoff double by Jose Sanchez and a two-out double by Viandel Pena, gave the Rocks an early 1-0 lead.
“We’re glad to be back,” manager Mario Lisson said. “Those two weeks towards the end started feeling long being outside of home but we’re glad to be back. We like to play at home, we like the fans, we like the crowd here, the environment, so we make the most of it.”
A 1-0 lead would be all starter Andrew Alvarez needed. After a one-out walk in the top of the first, Alvarez would retire eight straight before giving up a two-out walk in the top of the fourth.
“I was just trying to get ahead,” Alvarez said. “Get some early contact and let the defense do their job. I have a great defense behind me.”
Alvarez would pitch five shutout innings, allowing only two hits and one walk to go along with two strikeouts.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Rocks’ combination of Sanchez and Pena would strike again. A leadoff single by Sanchez was followed by a one-out single by Matt Suggs. Sanchez would later score on an RBI single from Pena to make it a 2-0 advantage.
In the bottom of the fifth, recently promoted Nationals fifth ranked prospect Brady House got things going with a one-out single. House would later score on an RBI double by Will Frizzell to give the Rocks a 3-0 lead.
House would reach base three times and score two-runs in his Blue Rocks home debut.
“It felt great getting to be here,” House said. “I’m with my teammates from spring training and some of my teammates from last year. It’s just been great getting back on the field with them and playing with them in front of the Wilmington fans.”
In the top of the seventh, reliever Carlos Romero faced some trouble after a one-out single and back to back walks. With the bases loaded and only one out, Romero was able to get Erick Brito to pop out to shortstop and strike out Arturo De Freitas to end the inning and keep the shutout intact.
After the Claws failed to capitalize, the Rocks blew the game open in the bottom half of the seventh.
Jacob Young led off and reached base on an error by Brito which sparked a four-run inning for the Rocks that was capped off with a bloop two-run single for Suggs to make it 7-0.
“It’s getting on base more than anything,” Lisson said. “People finding at-bats with runners on base is always huge. You mix a hit here and there, you get those runs and that’s what we did tonight.”
Todd Peterson would come on in the ninth to seal the deal for the Rocks and after allowing two baserunners, Peterson would slam the door.
The Rocks and Blue Claws will be back in action tonight with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 p.m.
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