Portland Sea Dogs starting pitcher A.J. Burnett did not find the transition from Dodger Stadium to Prince George's Stadium to his liking yesterday, yielding 10 hits and five runs en route to a 9-3 loss to the Bowie Baysox in a Class AA Eastern League game.
Burnett, the Florida Marlins' top prospect, won his major league debut last Tuesday in a spot start before 30,354 fans in Los Angeles. He even had an infield hit.
But Burnett struggled in his return to the minor leagues. He allowed five consecutive players to reach base with two outs in the fourth inning. An error by Sea Dogs third baseman Larry Kleinz opened the floodgates, and the Baysox (67-59) scored four unearned runs.
"It was a dream come true," Burnett said of his Marlins debut. "But I try to keep the same mentality -- it's just baseball, whether it's the major leagues or down here."
Burnett lasted seven innings and gave up just one earned run yesterday. But the Sea Dogs' sloppy fielding proved to be their undoing.
Bowie scored four more unearned runs in the eighth, on three outfield errors and a wild pitch. Brian Rust had three RBI, and Louis Matos, Richie Paz and Jason Werth each had three hits.
Five Bowie pitchers held Portland (59-69) to seven hits. Starter Julio Moreno left the game in the fourth inning with a strained muscle in his side. Maximo Heredia (6-2) earned the win with six strikeouts over the next 3 2/3 innings.