The Burlington Royals lost to the Bluefield Blue Jays for the second game in a row on Tuesday night. The defeat moved the Royals to 4-4 and is the first time the team has been at .500 in 2012. The Blue Jays confined the Royals to a season-low 4 hits on the night (even in their 2-18 blowout loss to Elizabethton on Saturday, Burlington managed 11 hits).
Bluefield’s bullpen was sharp Tuesday and never allowed the Burlington offense to gain any momentum. Starting pitcher Tom Robson had 3 H and 1 K though the first four innings, but it was Kevin Comer that really stifled the big bats of Burlington. Comer relieved Robson at the top of the fifth and struckout 4 batters over the next 4 innings, allowing only 1 hit during that span. The Blue Jays’ Colby Broussard earned his first save of the season with a scoreless ninth that included 3 K’s and 1 BB.
The Royals’ offense hasn’t been the only issue this week. The defense will need to tighten up if they want to avoid the sweep, as three errors have helped bring in three separate runs. Two infield errors occurred in Monday’s loss, and an over-thrown pickoff attempt by pitcher Mark Peterson in the ninth inning of Tuesday’s game moved Blue Jays’ Dickie Thon from first base to third. A ground ball single brought Thon in for his second run of the evening, effectively closing the door on the Royals.
On a positive note, the Royals’ Chris Elder has extended his hitting streak to 7 games with a single and a stolen base in Tuesday’s loss. Elder’s now batting a solid .400 for the season.
The Royals look to turn things around Wednesday as they finish out the three-game series against the Blue Jays. The team will then hit the road for the next week, first to Johnson City to face the Cardinals, followed by a trip to Danville to play the division-leading Braves.