WILMINGTON, DE – Behind a dominant complete game performance from Elisaul Pimentel, the Keys were stifled in a 4-1 loss to the Wilmington Blue Rocks.
Pimentel pitched all nine innings, giving up just one run on five hits, one walk, and four strikeouts. For Pimentel, who was recently demoted from Double-A Northwest Arkansas, the righty, after giving up three hits in the second inning, only allowed three of the next 25 base runners to reach base.
It’s the first nine inning complete game for a Blue Rocks pitcher this year and their first complete game since 2010 when Chris Dwyer did so, but he accomplished the feat in two days after the game was suspended and then completed days later.
The last Blue Rock pitcher to hurl a true nine inning complete game in one day was by Rowdy Hardy in 2007.
The stellar performance from Pimentel pushes his record to 3-1 while his ERA drops to 3.13. Entering into the game, Pimentel issued only three earned runs in his past 20 innings pitched.
Meanwhile, for Frederick, the loss pushes the Keys to 15-18 in the second half of the year and 42-61 overall.
Trent Howard, who only gave up two earned runs in five innings, gets charged with the loss as he moves to 2-7 with a 5.05 ERA.
The Keys’ best chance against Pimentel came early in the game as they connected for three consecutive singles in the second inning to load the bases with nobody out. Yet after that point, Pimentel kicked into high gear as that’s when he proceeded to retire 22 of the next 25 batters. He did give up a run on a sacrifice fly from Mike Flacco, but that would be all the damage inflicted upon Pimentel and the Blue Rocks.
After the Keys took the lead on the sac fly from Flacco, Wilmington responded in their next at-bat to score three runs and take a lead they never gave up.
After Matt Fields walked to lead off the inning with a walk, Lane Adams hit a comebacker to the mound, enabling the Keys to turn a double play. Yet instead, Howard on the throw to second threw it low and the ball went into centerfield, putting runners at first and third with nobody out as opposed to nobody on base and two outs.
Juan Graterol would bring in their first runner on an infield single and Guelin Beltre followed with bloop single into shallow right to bring in the Blue Rocks’ go-ahead run. Following an RBI groundout from recent call-up Adrian Morales, Wilmington was able to lead 3-1. In total, three softly hit balls on Howard brought in three runs following the error.
Wilmington grabbed an insurance run in the third off of Howard, but it was immaterial as Pimentel wasn’t allowing Frederick to get much of anything going.
The Keys will try and bounce back Thursday night and even up their four-game series as their ace and baseball’s number one overall prospect in Dylan Bundy (4-3, 2.98 ERA) takes the mound against RHP Matt Ridings (2-1, 3.04 ERA).