NEWARK – The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks swooped into Newark tonight and thrashed the Bears, 17-5.
Newark’s cataclysmic losing streak has reached 10 games and the Bears have now plunged into a tie for last place in the Can-Am League standings.
After being swept by the Québec Capitales, this was not the way Newark wanted to start a three-game home stand against their inter-league rivals from the American Association. However, the RedHawks have been red hot, winning seven out of their last 10 games. Before coming to Newark, the RedHawks took three out of four from the New Jersey Jackals.
Bears starter Fray Martinez (0-3) was hammered for nine runs and lasted just 5 innings. The RedHawks tagged Bears relievers Ryan Carr and David Dinelli for eight more runs to complete the rout.
Manager Garry Templeton acknowledged that his pitching staff is worn out. The grueling series with New Jersey and Québec has taken its toll on the Newark arms and Martinez’s performance tonight was indicative of that.
When asked about Martinez’s start, Templeton answered, “Fray did what he had to do. Today, I wanted to build [up] his pitch count, [but] it looked like he started to get a little tired. When you get tired, you elevate your ball.” The RedHawks took full advantage of the elevated balls and got nine hits off of the Bears righty, including a home run in the third and a grand slam in the fourth.
After a strong first inning led by a home run blast from outfielder Carlos Guzman, the Bears jumped out to a 3-0 lead. Guzman, who had been hitless in his last three games, broke out of the slump with his third home run of the season.
The lead did not last long as the dreaded third and fourth innings got the best of the Bears. RedHawks second baseman C.J. Retherford launched a two-run home run in the third inning and was one of three Fargo-Moorhead players to collect four RBIs on the night. In the fourth, shortstop Zach Penprase recorded his first home run of the season with a grand slam that put the RedHawks up 8-3.
Fargo-Moorhead would later tack on nine more runs, but the game was already out of reach.
After giving up the three-run home run in the first inning, RedHawks starter Paul Burnside settled in nicely and finished the game with three earned runs on six hits, and a pair of walks and strikeouts. He has now won his last three starts.
It was not all bad news for the Bears tonight. The bats came alive with 13 hits, including two more for Bridger Hunt who continues his incredible season at the plate. Coming into tonight’s came, Bridger was batting .468 with an astounding .500 on-base percentage. Templeton is pleased with his shortstop’s offensive effort and consistency, but he would like to see others on the team do the same.
Guzman led the team with a 2-for-5 night, three RBIs, and a run scored. Designated hitter Jamar Walton knocked in an RBI on 3-for-4 hitting. Antoin Gray got his first hit at Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium, going 3-for-5 with a run scored.