BOWIE – The Bowie Baysox received plenty of offensive help from D.J. Stewart last weekend, and he is big a reason they were sitting in a virtual tie for first place in the Eastern League’s Western Division.
Stewart banged out four hits in the first two games of last weekend’s series in Portland, Maine, driving in eight runs in the process. However, Bowie lost two of three to the Sea Dogs. The series left Bowie with a 59-54 record, a half-game up on Altoona (58-54) through Sunday.
The first two games, which the teams split, were heavily influenced by Stewart. In Friday’s loss, the outfielder homered and went 2-for-5 with two RBI.
Stewart did even better in Saturday’s 13-7 rain-shortened victory which ended with Bowie batting in the top of the ninth. He hit a grand slam and finished 2-for-4 with six RBI.
He almost had another RBI, but a nice catch by Portland center fielder Cole Sturgeon negated the chance. Stewart was set to bat in the ninth, but the rains washed away his opportunity.
“I was looking for that seventh one,” Stewart told MiLB.com. “Wasn’t fortunate enough to get it, but I’ll take six.”
Stewart told MiLB.com that he had been feeling better at the plate despite going 0-for-4 in Sunday’s loss. As of Monday he was hitting .266. Still, his 64 RBI are tied for fifth in the Eastern League, deadlocked with teammate Aderlin Rodriguez in that category.
“I was talking to one of my former coaches last week and I told him that I had been feeling pretty comfortable in the box the last week, week-and-a-half,” Stewart told MiLB.com. “I felt like I was getting close to where I needed to be.”
The top hitters
Bowie has some of the top offensive threats in the Eastern League in its lineup this season.
Long-time Baysox player Garabez Rosa leads the Eastern League in average (.321), RBI (79) and runs (66). Rodriguez and Stewart are both tied for fifth in the league with 64 RBI.
That offensive punch is a big reason why Bowie’s fighting for first place in the division. Bowie leads the league with a .289 average, 21 points ahead of Portland.
It will be interesting to see if any Bowie players get called up to the Baltimore Orioles when the Baysox season ends in about a month.
Baltimore is fighting for a wild-card spot, but with several Bowie hitters doing so well – and Manager Buck Showalter last week complimented the Baysox on their consistent hitting at an Oriole pre-game press conference – will the major league team call up anyone when rosters expand to 40 in September? Stay tuned.