The offense stayed hot as the Wilmington Blue Rocks took down the Jersey Shore BlueClaws 8-3 on Friday night.
It was a quality outing from starter Andry Lara, who secured two outs on only two pitches to start the game.
In the third, Lara would plunk a batter and Jared Carr would make him pay with an RBI triple. The Claws would bring another one in on a sacrifice fly from Bryan Rincon to take an early 2-0 lead.
Lara would go 5.0 innings, allowing two runs on three hits while giving up no walks and striking out three.
“It was pretty good,” manager Mario Lisson said about his pitcher’s performance. “I tell them all the time to just keep attacking, make them earn it.”
Earlier in this series, walks and free bases had come to hurt the Rocks. But on Friday, the pitching staff only walked two batters and allowed another free base on one hit by pitch.
In the bottom half of the third, the Rocks would make some noise. After back-to-back singles from Sammy Infante and Viandel Pena led off the inning, Daylen Lile tied the game with a two-run double. The Rocks would add one more on an infield single by YoYo Morales to take a 3-2 lead and would never look back.
In the fourth, the Rocks would continue to pour it on. A leadoff walk for Yasel Antuna was followed by an RBI double by Branden Boissiere to make it a 4-2 ball game. A one-out infield single for Pena and a two-out walk for Andrew Pinckney would load the bases for Morales. Morales would poke a floater down the right field line that stayed fair and would result in a bases-clearing double to make it 7-2 Rocks.
“I just keep working,” Morales said. “Baseball is baseball. It’s the same game I’ve played all of my life. Obviously, it’s been a little adjustment coming up here…I feel like I adjusted pretty well and just gotta continue winning games.”
Morales’ big night at the plate included him going 2-3 with four RBIs, a double, and a walk.
In the fifth, the Rocks would get their leadoff hitter on again with a walk, following that up with an RBI double by Antuna to make it 8-2.
“These guys take pride in just being in the lineup,” Lisson said. “They’ve been getting into hitter’s counts often and have been taking advantage of them.”
The Claws would add one more in the ninth with a solo home run from Cole Moore but would be shut down from that moment on.
The win ties the six-game series at two games apiece. The teams are set to play again on Saturday at 6:35.
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