Keys blanked as win streak ends in Frederick (quotes added)

Well, I had a good time, but didn’t bring the Keys any luck tonight.

The final was Winston-Salem 3, Frederick 0. Three Dash pitchers held the Keys to eight hits.

This was the third time this year the Keys had a four-game win streak, but could not make it five in a row. They are still looking for their first five-game win streak since August of 2006. The Keys had scored 28 runs during the win streak.

Xavier Avery, L.J. Hoes and Joe Mahoney each went 2 for 4. Avery is 8 for 18 over his last five games after an 0 for 23 stretch. Hoes is 10 for 22 during a six-game hitting streak and now batting .309. Mahoney had a pair of doubles and is 9 for 27 over six games.

The Keys, who are second in the Carolina League in runs scored, went 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position and left seven men on base.

Billy Rowell, who was the Burger King RBI guy tonight, went 0 for 2 with two strikeouts and two walks. Had he driven in a run, everyone would have gotten a coupon for a free sandwich. Rowell had been 11 for 21 over his previous six games.

Losing pitcher Rick Zagone, who gave up three runs and nine hits over seven innings, falls to 0-3, 3.69.

The Keys, now 15-11, were shutout for the first time this year. I’ll add a few post-game quotes to this later and also feature some of the interviews I got here before the game over the next several days, so be looking for that.

Attendance tonight at Harry Grove Stadium was 2,835. Time of game was two hours, 11 minutes. At least it was fast.

This four-game series ends here Thursday with a special 11 a.m. start as Frederick’s Ryan O’Shea (2-2, 5.96) pitches vs. Nate Jones (3-1, 2.96). Friday the Keys welcome Wilmington to town as this homestand continues.

Some post-game quotes:

Manager Orlando Gomez on the team’s inability to stretch the win streak to five: “We’ll have times when we win more than five in a row. We played solid defense tonight and Zagone pitched a good game. But we hit into three double plays and that’s part of the game. Our kids have been working hard.”

Gomez on Zagone’s outing: “He had real good stuff tonight and looked like the Zagone I saw last year at Delmarva. His location was working good and he mixed his pitches well and threw some changeups. The only time he got hurt was when he got his pitches up. His outing tonight was encouraging.”

Zagone on his night: “I felt pretty good, had all my pitches and threw my changeup well. They strung a few hits together and thier pitcher threw well. My arm feels in mid-season form and my location is back.”

Zagone was asked if he was aware of Winston-Salem’s .315 team average, the best in all of minor league baseball: “I looked at their stats earlier this week and it looked like they all were hitting .300. They’re aggressive and they work the count and are good hitters. It was fun pitching out there.”

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