Burlington took a 1-0 lead with two outs in the third. Derek Rodriguez reached on an infield single to deep short, and Yowill Espinal lined a shot that deflected off the ankle of Hobgood. Rodriguez, who moved to third on the play, scored on a wild pitch.
Four errors in the sixth helped the Royals pushed across four runs, and Burlington answered a Bluefield run with three more that crossed in the seventh on consecutive triples from Espinal and Benjamin Tschepikow, followed by a two-run home run from Fernando Cruz.
Keaton Hayenga (4-7) earned the win, allowing just three hits and a run in six frames. De La Cruz surrendered six runs — including five earned — in the next three innings, but still recorded his third save.
Gary Helmick tripled in the sixth and scored on an infield single by Javier Santana to pull the Orioles within 5-1. Bluefield rallied for three runs in the seventh and ninth innings, but fell a run short in hopes of finishing the season with a .500 record.
“When you lose six games in a row, that will really kill you,” Diaz said. “You want to play over .500, if you play over .500 that is good. We finished under .500, one game under .500 is not too good.”
Espinal and Tschepikow led Burlington with two hits apiece, while Cruz drove in two runs and scored two. The Royals had three errors of their own. Bluefield, which was out-hit 10-8, was paced by a double and single from Kipp Schutz, who also joined Meyer by scoring two runs apiece.
While the baseball season is over for the Bluefield edition of the Orioles, some members of the team will continue playing for at least a few more days on other teams in the Baltimore organization. Diaz said it remained to be seen if any players on this team reach the big leagues, much like he did not that long ago.