Altoona, PA – In his Double-A debut, right-hander Alex Pham showcased his skills by throwing five shutout innings, but the Bowie Baysox couldn’t hold off the Altoona Curve, surrendering five runs in the sixth inning to lose 8-4 on Sunday night at People’s Natural Gas Field.

Pham had an impressive start, striking out three batters while allowing only two hits and issuing one walk. He demonstrated excellent command, throwing 67 pitches, with 45 of them finding the strike zone.

The Baysox gave Pham early run support, albeit in a peculiar manner. Coby Mayo drew a walk in the first inning and advanced to third on a single by John Rhodes. However, Rhodes made a baserunning mistake, getting caught in a rundown but allowing Mayo to score before being tagged out.

Bowie’s offense remained aggressive against right-handed starter Aaron Shortridge despite the blunder. Facing Shortridge for the second time in a week, the Baysox collected 12 hits off him in five innings. Zach Watson contributed with a solo home run down the left-field line, his eighth of the season and second in as many games, extending the Baysox lead to 2-0. TT Bowens added a two-run single in the third, doubling the advantage to 4-0.

However, the game took a turn in the sixth inning. Jean Pinto took the mound for Bowie but struggled to contain the Curve’s offense. A walk to Ji Man Choi, followed by a fielding error from shortstop Anthony Servideo set the stage for a comeback. Abrahan Gutierrez drew another walk, loading the bases for Matt Gorski, who delivered a two-run single, cutting the Baysox lead in half. Tsung-Che Cheng then grounded out to Bowens, who stepped on first for the second out but got caught in a rundown. Gorski returned safely to first base while Gutierrez scored, making it a one-run game. Bowie could escape the inning on a ground ball back to the mound. Still, Pinto’s errant throw to second resulted in the second Baysox frame error, allowing both runners to reach safely. Matt Frazier capitalized on the mistake with a two-run double, propelling the Curve to a 5-4 lead.

The Baysox had a chance to tie the game in the seventh inning but squandered the opportunity. John Rhodes, who reached base via a hit by pitch, was thrown out at home while attempting to score from third on a shallow flyout to right field. Bowie made four outs on the base paths throughout the game and hit into two double plays.

In the eighth inning, Altoona added insurance runs, with Lolo Sanchez delivering an RBI single and Mason Martin blasting a two-run home run. The Baysox failed to mount a comeback in the ninth, ultimately falling 8-4.

With this loss, the Baysox finished the first half of the 2023 season with a record of 31-38, placing them in last position in the Eastern League Southwest Division. After two days off, they will begin the second half of the season with six consecutive home games against the Somerset Patriots at Prince George’s Stadium. The series opener is scheduled for Wednesday at 6:35 p.m. ET.

Despite a strong debut from Alex Pham and an early offensive surge, the Bowie Baysox couldn’t maintain their lead against the Altoona Curve, resulting in a disappointing 8-4 loss in the series finale.

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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