Birds Falter In The Rubbermatch

Tri-City scored early and often in the final game of the series and win, 12-2

ABERDEEN, MD- The ValleyCats struck first against the IronBirds last night in the rubbermatch of the three game series at Ripken Stadium. Runs were plated by the ValleyCats in four consecutive innings. A grand slam in the 3rd inning sealed the series win for the ValleyCats.

RHP David Richardson (3-2, 2.91) took the mound for the Birds while LHP Brian Holmes (5-1, 2.40) started for the ValleyCats. In his previous outing, Richardson struck out a career-high nine batters over six innings.

ValleyCats plated two runs in the top of the first when SS Joe Sclafani scored off of a C Jobduan Morales single and later in the inning when DH Tyler Heineman scored off of a 2B Austin Elkins single.

The IronBirds put one on the board in the bottom of the first after CF Anthony Vega scored off of a double by SS Joel Hutter, Hutter’s 12th of the season.

In the top of the third, with the bases loaded, ValleyCats 1B Jesse Wierzbicki walked home after CF Neiko Johnson was hit by a pitch from Richardson. Shortly after, the ValleyCats added a handful of runs to the score when RF Jarrod McKinney smacked a grand slam to far left field. ValleyCats exited the third inning with a 7-1 lead.

Individual runs were scored in 4th, 5th and 6th innings for the ValleyCats. ValleyCats added two more runs in the 8th bringing the score to 12-1.

In the bottom of the eighth, LF Will Howard sent a double to left field; a ground out by 2B Anthony Caronia allowed Howard to reach third and later score off of a RBI single by Vega.

After a thirty minute rain delay, the game was officially called in the eighth inning, bringing the final score to 12-2. Holmes (6-1) took the win for the ValleyCats while Richardson (3-3) was assigned the loss for the IronBirds. P John Neely entered in the bottom of the 6th inning and got the save for the ValleyCats.

The IronBirds will continue their homestand in a three game series against the Connecticut Tigers on Friday, August 10. LHP Jorge Rivera (0-1, 4.66) will start the series on the mound for the Birds while RHP Endrys Briceno (4-2, 5.04) will start on the mound for the Tigers. First pitch at Ripken Stadium is set for 7:05 p.m. Coverage on the IronBirds Radio Network will begin at 6:50 p.m.

For tickets, call the IronBirds box office at (410) 297-9292 or go online to www.ironbirdsbaseball.com.

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Tucker began operating Orioles-Nation.com in October 2013. He has been writing and reporting on the Orioles for an extensive period of time, dedicating most of his energy to the minor league side. He is also a member of the Baseball Prospectus Prospect Evaluation Team. Outside of baseball, Tucker also works as a Government Contractor for Contracting Resources Group, Inc. He has appeared as a radio guest on Fox 1370 and WNST 1570. Tucker writes and updates all player reports at Orioles-Nation.com and can be contacted at tuckerblair1989@gmail.com. Follow Tucker on Twitter @TuckerBlairON. Email Tucker at tblair@orioles-nation.com.