BURLINGTON, N.C. —
On a 100-degree day in the North Carolina Piedmont, the Bluefield Blue Jays again were unable to pull out a ballgame when they were within an out of victory.
The Burlington Royals got a bloop single in the bottom of the ninth Sunday evening from Patrick Leonard to score two runs and send Bluefield to its fourth straight defeat by a 6-5 score.
The Blue Jays began the first with a double by Dwight Smith, and a home run by Santiago Nessy gave the visitors a quick 2-0 lead.
The Royals scored three runs in the third, with the help of two errors, a walk, a double and a single to take the lead in the see-saw contest. Bluefield’s Christian Lopes led off the fourth with a home run to left to tie the game 3-3.
That got Bluefield starter Tucker Jensen off the hook. He pitched four innings, striking out four, walking two and giving up three hits and three runs, none of them earned.
Relievers Justin James and Brandon Dorsett each struck out three Royals. Dorsett allowed two hits and no runs in three innings.
Lopes singled to center in the fifth to plate Jorge Vega-Rosado, and in the seventh Art Charles hit a double to bring home Smith, providing the Blue Jays with a 5-4 lead that lasted until the Royals’ fireworks in the ninth.
Mark Peterson (2-0) pitched a scoreless ninth for the Royals and recorded the win.
Lopes batted 3 for 4 for Bluefield, and Vega-Rosado was 2 for 3.
Bluefield’s last game of 2012 in Burlington is scheduled for 7 p.m. tonight. Bluefield returns home on July 17 for the season’s first encounter with the Princeton Rays.
At Burlington Athletic Stadium
Bluefield........200 110 100 — 5 9 2
Burlington.....003 010 002 — 6 9 0