These two teams, who entered OOTL the same year, squared off in the Eliminators’ new Mechanicsburg ballpark Saturday afternoon.
Game 1 – After getting strafed in his Speakers’ debut, Bartolo Colon leaked just enough oil to pick up his second loss in as many starts. The Speakers were able to cover Colon’s allowing solos to Victor Martinez and Odubel Herrera. However, they couldn’t overcome back-to-back-to-back doubles (Josh Donaldson, Victor and Ian Desmond) in the 4th. Xander Bogaerts strokes a 2-out RBI single in the 8th to wrap up a 5-3 win that was nowhere near as close as the score indicates.
W – Kevin Gausman; L – Colon (0-2); S – Addison Reed
Game 2 – The Speakers score as many in the top of the 1st as they did in Game 1. A pair of walks hurt Julio Teheran as Kris Bryant gaps a 2-out 2-run double and Ian Kinsler follows with an RBI single.
Kinsler singles home Manny Machado in the 5th with run #4. Jake Arrieta and Joe Blanton do the rest as the Speakers knot the series, 4-0.
W – Arrieta (2-0); L – Teheran; S – Blanton (1)
Game 3 – Rookie David Dahl starts the Speakers’ 2nd with a double. With 2 outs, Buster Posey lines a double of his own. Mookie Betts singles home Posey for an early 2-0 advantage.
The Eliminators cobble together Desmond’s single, Jonathon Lucroy’s perfect hit-and-run single (31) and Herrera’s RBI double to cut the lead in half, 2-1, in the 3rd. After Roughned Odor singles with 1 away in the 4th, Posey executes a hit-and-run single. Betts’ sac fly helps the Speakers regain their 2-run margin, 3-1.
The Eliminators enjoy base runners in every succeeding inning except the 9th, but can’t muster a clutch hit. Jeremy Hellickson and the Speaker pen preserve the 3-1 victory.
W – Hellickson (2-0); L – Felix Hernandez; S – Roberto Osuna (1)
Game 4 – Chris Archer’s first pitch of the season lands beyond the left-center field fence as Jean Segura puts the Eliminators up early. In the 3rd, Segura does it again — his second solo blast of the game.
The big blow comes in the 4th as new Eliminator Hanley Ramirez launches a 3-run homer. The Elims bat around in the 5th to plate 3 more for an 8-0 lead before the Speakers get their first hit.
The Speakers also bat around in the 5th, scoring 4 times, but it would hardly be enough. The Eliminators win 8-4 to split the series.
W – Jeff Samardzija; L – Archer (0-1)
Series Notes: The Eliminators out-homer the Speakers, 5-1. Although Colon coughs up 5 ER in 6.2 IP, he reduces his ERA to 10.80. Through 8 games, Arrieta (2-0, 1.10) and Hellickson (2-0, 0.57) are saving a staff whose overall ERA is 4.20. Kinsler produces all 6 of his hits in this series. Herrera goes 4-9 with a double, HR and 4 walks — all from the 9 hole.