KINSTON, NC – A sloppy game turned competitive late, but the Wood Ducks (9-9, 33-54) fell to the Astros (13-6, 50-39) 4-2 on Monday night. Matt Lipka added his fifth home run of the season in the defeat.
Down East received a quality start from Emerson Martinez, but could not give him run support over his six innings and six strikeouts. He allowed three runs and left five runners on base.
The Wood Ducks opened the scoring in the third with Lipka’s blast. It was his fourth in his last seven games and his first hit after losing a 10-game hitting streak on Saturday night.
Buies Creek responded in the fourth with a two-run blast by Jake Rogers – his third straight game with a homer in the series. The lead was one the Astros would never relinquish.
Meanwhile the tandem performance of starter Brett Adcock and Franklin Perez would retire 15 of 16 Woodies hitters after the Lipka home run. The Astros added a run in the fifth on a Yordan Alvarez sacrifice fly in his first game back since playing in the Futures Game.
After Martinez finished his six innings, Tyler Ferguson started the bullpen effort for the final three frames. An unearned run scored with two outs in a forgetful inning for Down East. Three errors loaded the bases before a ball skipped away from Moorman to allow Myles Straw to score an insurance run and lead 4-1.
Down East showed life in the eighth, bringing runners to second and third with no outs. Yeyson Yrizarri knocked a sacrifice fly to left to score Ti’Quan Forbes, but the Wood Ducks would not manage anything else.
In the ninth, DEWD had two more at-bats with the winning run at the plate but a strikeout and a pop out sealed the series win for Buies Creek.
Tuesday is the first off day of the second half for the Wood Ducks. They resume action on Wednesday in Zebulon, NC against the Carolina Mudcats. A four-game series begins at 11:00 a.m. at Five County Stadium – the first trip there since May.