Locos falter after Pidek’s departure

LIMA – Locos pitcher Hunter Pidek threw six dominate shutout innings.

But that was seemingly lost in a late-inning fog of runs.

The Jet Box Baseball Club (Mich.) took advantage of a meltdown by the Lima Locos’ bullpen and knocked off the Locos 10-9 Saturday at Simmons Field.

“This one hurts a little bit,” Locos coach Matt Furuto said.

The Locos (7-4) had their three-game winning streak snapped.

Jet Box is 5-6.

The Locos led 7-0 after six innings and 7-2 after the seventh.

But in the eighth, the Locos’ bullpen gave up seven runs and the Jet Box took the lead to stay 9-7.

The bullpen gave up all 10 runs on nine hits. The pen also walked five and hit a batter.

The Locos made two errors in the final two innings.

“We didn’t play good baseball, unfortunately, just for two innings and it cost us,” Furuto said.

Jet Box’s Ryan Lux had two-run single in the eighth to break up a 7-7 game and take a 9-7 lead.

The Locos came back and scored one in the bottom of the eighth on Clay Jacobs’ RBI single. That brought Lima within 9-8.

Jet Box’s Aiden Lao had an RBI single in the ninth to push its leas to 10-8.

The Locos chipped the lead to 10-9 in the home ninth on Diego Hines’ pinch-hit sacrifice fly to center.

But that was as close as the Locos could get in their final at-bat, as Jet Box left-hander Garrett Navarra notched the save.

Pidek (Oakland) was outstanding in compiling six shutout innings. He gave up four hits, struck out eight and walked one.

Pidek threw 81 pitches, 56 for strikes.

The six innings was the Locos’ longest outing of the summer thus far.

“He (Pidek) was great,” Furuto said. “We wasted a good start. It was good for him, but we didn’t help him out.’’

Pidek’s threw his fastball and off-speed pitches consistently for strikes.

“I like to be all over the (strike) zone,” Pidek. “And at the end of the day, if all my stuff is working for strikes I can induce enough contact to get outs and that’s what happened.’’

Pidek has made two starts for the Locos and has 10 shutout innings.

He was primarily a reliever at Oakland.

“The biggest thing I can compare this to is pitching in high school because this is what I did in high school (start),” Pidek said. “It’s a lot of

fun being able to start, stretch things out and overall just have fun out there.’’

For the Locos, Jacobs went 2 for 4 with an RBI.

Josh Mrozek was 2 for 4 with a triple and four RBI.

Hutchins went 2 for 4 with a double. Caleb Dugan was 2 for 2 with an RBI.

“I think a lot of guys (in the order) did good things,” Furuto said. “When you score nine runs you should be able to win a game. Unfortunately, we didn’t have it on the other side tonight.’’

The Locos scored three in the second to take a 3-0 lead. Lima added three more in the third and it was 6-0.

The Locos added one in the sixth and it was 7-0.

In the Locos second, Mrozek lined a two-run triple to the fence in right to give the Locos a 2-0 lead.

Ty Gill’s sacrifice fly to left gave the Locos a 3-0 lead.

In the third, Hutchins hit a sacrifice fly to left to give the Locos a 4-0 lead.

Mrozek’s two-run single to right in the third gave the Locos a 6-0 lead.

The Locos made it 7-0 in the fifth with an RBI single to right Dugan.

With Pidek out of the game, Jet Box scored two in the top of the seventh to get within 7-2.

Michael Tchavdarov’s two-run double brought the Jet Box within 7-6 in the eighth.

Cole Daniels earned the win in relief for the Jet Box. He went four innings and gave up one run, unearned, on one hit. He struck out three and walked one.

Navarra earned the save with two innings of work and gave up two runs, one earned, on three hits. He struck out four.

Locos notes: The Locos wrap up their nine-game homestand and three-game series with the Jet Box at 5 p.m. today at Simmons Field.

Pitcher Brennan McCune (Findlay) reported to the team and was activated Saturday.

Pitcher Miller Riggins (Kennesaw State) is expected to report today.

The Locos’ top hitters include Brennen Norton (.381), Ty Gill (.345) and Clay Jacobs (.318). Jayden Davis hitting .462 in 13 at-bats.

Diego Gines leads the team in home runs (2) and RBI (9). Gill has seven stolen bases.

The Locos are fourth in the league in hitting (.251). They rank third in team ERA (3.68).