The Prince William Cannons faltered at the plate and afield against Kinston as the Indians won, 4-1, before 2,406 discomfited fans at Prince William County Stadium last night.
Kinston starter Oscar Munoz (5-0), who was promoted to the Carolina League one month ago, gave up only one hit while striking out five and walking one before giving way to Garland Kiser with one out in the ninth. Kiser completed the one-hitter.
Munoz's only blip came in the bottom of the fifth inning. Vying for a perfect game, he threw a 3-2 fastball that Russ Davis deposited over the left-center field fence for his 14th home run.
Other than that, though, the 6-foot-2, 210-pound right-hander was in charge. He held J.T. Snow, the league's player of the month for July, and Mauricio Zazueta, who has improved his batting averge 37 points in a month, hitless, while improving his team's overall record to a league-best 80-43, and a Southern Division-leading 35-19 in the second half.
But Munoz and the Indians were helped enormously by Prince William's defense -- or lack thereof.
Trailing by 1-0 in the fourth inning, Gerald Nielsen (6-11), who has lost his last five decisions, gave up a leadoff single to Tim Costo and walked Fabio Gomez. One out later, Nolan Lane singled to center, but Costo held at third and Gomez ran up his back. Shortstop Dave Silvestri took the relay and easily threw Costo out at home.
On the next batter, catcher Kiki Hernandez attempted a pickoff of Lane at first and when he did Gomez broke for home. Snow's return throw was wide and Gomez scored for a 2-0 lead.