By Connor Newcomb
HANOVER, Md. – It was the same old story for the Dodgers through seven-and-a-half innings Monday night.
Holding a 4-0 lead in the top of the eighth inning, the Thunderbolts scored four runs with two outs against Dodgers reliever Alex Cuas to tie the game.
Baltimore has lost many games this way this season, but Monday was different. The Dodgers struck right back, scoring two runs in the bottom of the eighth on a pinch-hit, two-run single from Zach Seal.
John Sakowski came on in the ninth and closed it out to secure a 6-4 Dodgers victory. The win improved Baltimore to 15-20 on the season and moved the team into sole possession of the first wild card playoff spot. The loss dropped the T-Bolts to 15-21 and into the second wild card spot.
Mark Michael started on the mound for the Dodgers and again was spectacular. The right-hander pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing only three hits and striking out four T-Bolts hitters.
Michael continued to hold down the Takoma bats as the Baltimore bats capitalized. David Bellamy’s sacrifice fly in the third inning opened the scoring, but the lefty was not done there. Bellamy went 3-for-3 on the night, including a triple and a run in sixth and an RBI single in the seventh.
Brandon McIlwain drove in Bellamy with a single in the sixth, while Jaren Shelby drove in the third Baltimore run with an RBI single of his own in that same inning.
Three of those four runs came off Thunderbolts starter Cole Benjamin, who lasted six innings and struck out four batters while walking two.
The Dodgers will be back in action for a doubleheader Tuesday at Joe Cannon Stadium against the Loudon Riverdogs. First pitch of game one is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.