Silver Sox fall to Armada
Appeal Sports Writer
RENO – Reno manager Les Lancaster is steamed at his bullpen, and he said that heads are going to roll.
In the last two games, the Reno bullpen has allowed 10 runs, including four in the final two innings of Tuesday night’s 6-1 loss to the Los Angeles Armada at Peccole Park in a Golden Baseball League game.
“There are going to be some new arms,” Lancaster said. “Changes are going to be made. Hopefully the new guys can come in and do the job. We need help. They (the bullpen) aren’t doing the job.”
On Monday, it was Josh Evans, Chris Testa and Mike Peck that were the culprits out of the pen.
On Tuesday, it was Shawn Balteff, who had allowed only one run and one hit in his 5 1/3 innings since joining the team. He was no mystery to the Armada, allowing four runs and five hits in his two-inning stint, including back-to-back homers to John Kaplan and Chris Klemm in the ninth.
“It kind of demoralizes you,” said left fielder Kane Simmons, who doubled twice.
Balteff’s performance wiped out a nice outing by starting pitcher Matt Parris, who struck out six and walked five in his seven-inning stint and left on the short end of a 2-1 score.
Parris dropped to 3-5, but definitely deserved a better fate. He got no support from the offense, which managed just four hits off three Armada hurlers – Richard Fischer, Sean Buller and Dane De La Rosa. Fischer fanned five and walked just one in 7 1/3 innings.
“He (Parris) did a good job,” Lancaster said. “He didn’t have control and gave up a lot of walks, but overall he did a great job.”
Lancaster said Parris’ pitch count was around 110, which is why he went to the bullpen for the final two innings.
‘There was some good and some bad,” Parris said. “I would liked to have gone longer. Usually I feel good in the later innings.
“I was pulling off. It’s tough to throw strikes when you do that.”
Both runs Parris gave up came as a result of leadoff walks to Kirk Gross in the third and fifth innings, respectively.
With the bases loaded in the third, catcher Todd Melton tried to pick a runner off third and threw a ball that Jose Rodriguez barely could get a glove on, allowing Gross to score.
Reno tied the game in the bottom of the inning.
Sam Walker walked and moved to third on Melton’s hit-and-run single to right. Victor Hall hit a comebacker. Fischer forced Melton at second, but Hall beat the throw to first and Walker scored on the play.
That was the extent of the Reno offense. Fischer retired 15 of the next 17 hitters before leaving with one out and one on and a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the eighth. Buller came on to retire Hall and Ryan Kowalski to end the inning.
“Fischer did a great job,” Lancaster said. “He threw his fastball a lot. It wasn’t like he was tricking us.”
“He’s a good pitcher,” Simmons said, echoing Lancaster’s thoughts. “We knew he was coming with the fastball all the time. We didn’t do so well (at the plate) tonight. That’s baseball.”
The Silver Sox need to get some of their hitters going, namely Hall, Rodriguez and player-coach Mike Done.
Hall is only 5 for his last 25 with three runs scored, and Rodriguez is 2 for his last 26 with three RBI and Done is 4 for 22 with one RBI.