Pitcher Matt Achilles called it his best outing of the season. For the struggling Frederick Keys, however, it was yet another loss.
Achilles pitched eight strong innings, but the Keys gave him little support at the plate in a 3-1 loss to Kinston Friday night in a Class A Carolina League game before 5,392 at Harry Grove Stadium.
It was the eighth loss in 10 games for the Keys (6-9 in the second half) and sixth of seven at home.
For Achilles, however, it was another step in the right direction after he spent the first two months of the season on the disabled list with an injury to his pitching shoulder. The right-hander, selected by the Orioles in the 23rd round of the 1995 amateur draft, allowed two runs on seven hits, striking out five and walking none.
"Basically, I was just trying to keep them off my fastball," said Achilles (1-2), who has gone five starts without a win. "I felt like I could throw any pitch at any time."
Kinston took a 2-0 lead in the fifth, putting two runners on with two outs and scoring on RBI singles by Scott Pratt and Zach Sorensen.
After missing a golden scoring opportunity in the fifth, loading the bases with two outs before Roberto Rivera's inning-ending groundout, the Keys cut the lead to 2-1 in the sixth on Tom McGee's RBI double to center.
They then missed a chance to tie in the seventh. With one out, Darnell McDonald attempted to score from third on Eddy Garabito's fly to medium-deep left but was thrown out by Mike Huelsmann, with catcher Casey Smith applying the tag in a collision at the plate.
PHILLIES 7, BAYSOX 5: Reading second baseman Brian Harris (3 for 5, three RBI) delivered a two-out, two-run homer in the bottom of the 12th inning to lift the host Phillies and snap Bowie's three-game winning streak.
The Baysox (48-38) tied the game with a run in the ninth when Augie Ojeda and Darrell Dent connected for consecutive two-out triples.
PELICANS 5, CANNONS 4: After tying the game with a pair of runs in the top of the ninth inning, visiting Potomac fell in the 14th inning in Myrtle Beach, S.C.