The Washington Wild Things found themselves in a familiar hole on Wednesday night as starter Richie Mirowski allowed six runs over his only three innings in a 9-5 loss at CONSOL Energy Park.
Mirowski (0-3) made his second start of the year since moving from the bullpen and couldn’t get into a rhythm as he allowed three runs to score in the first with two out before getting a strikeout to end the inning.
Mirowski then cruised through the second striking out three while hitting a batter, but got into more trouble in the third when he allowed three more runs to score on two singles, a double and a passed ball. He would finish the inning, but not come back for the fourth due to a high pitch count.
“[Lake Erie] was hunting fastballs and swinging the bat freely,” said Wild Things manager Bob Bozzuto. “They made great contact. A lot of our pitches were up and they put great swings on them.”
Washington relievers Jeremy Holcombe and Steve Messner stopped the bleeding over the next five innings allowing three hits and one walk while striking out a total of seven Crushers.
“Holcombe and Messner did a great job in their five innings holding [Lake Erie] to where they were at,” said Bozzuto.
Matt Purnell couldn’t repeat their performances, however, allowing three runs on two hits in the ninth while walking two and hitting one batter.
The Wild Things (24-32) bats woke up after last night’s poor performance, but it still wasn’t enough after the slow start from their pitching staff.
Matt Peters and Scott Kalamar each recorded RBI in the bottom of the first to cut the Lake Erie lead to 3-2. They again fought back in the fourth when Matt Ford singled and scored on a Andrew Heck one-out RBI triple to make it 6-4. Heck remained at third, though, as the bottom of the Wild Things order — a combined 2-for-8 with four strikeouts — couldn’t get him home.
Washington missed another opportunity to cut further into the lead leaving a runner on third with one out in the sixth.
Ford later added an RBI double and Lee Orr hit a solo home run in the ninth to finish the scoring for the Wild Things.
“We didn’t get the job done,” said Bozzuto. “You gotta play nine innings. At the beginning of the day, we would have taken 11 hits and five runs. Today, we just gave them too many.”
Lake Erie (23-30) will look for the three-game sweep of Washington tomorrow evening at 7:05.
(WAS) Mirowski (L, 0-3): 3 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 6 K’s, 1 HBP. 78 Pitches (49 Strikes).
(LE) Morton (W, 3-1): 5+ IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 6 K’s. 94 Pitches (67 Strikes).
(Photo Credit: Washington Wild Things)