Maple Leafs Lose Late Against Royals

By Rob Vona

The Toronto Maple Leafs lost to the Guelph Royals on Saturday at Hastings Stadium by a score of 5-4.

The Royals used two runs late in the game to take the lead and come out with the win, giving Maple Leafs pitcher Wilgenis Alvarado his second loss of the season. While the Maple Leafs failed to score five or more runs for just the second time this season.  

The Maple Leafs got out to a 2-0 lead by the third inning as second baseman Dan Marra - who finished with a game-high three hits - got things started for the visitors in the top of the second inning, scoring on an error from Royals starting pitcher Hector Yan - who picked up his first win of the season in his first appearance. 

The top of the third inning saw the other Marra, Justin, score on a balk, giving the Maple Leafs their 2-0 lead. 

The Royals responded with three runs in the bottom of the third inning. 

Catcher Brendan Keys and shortstop Brando Leroux both scored via a pass ball, tying the game up at two. 

The third run of the inning also scored on a pass ball, giving the Royals their first lead of the game. 

After stranding three runners over the next three innings, the Maple Leafs got one back in the top of the seventh inning, an RBI double from DH Jordan Castaldo allowed for Justin Marra to score after he reached base by hitting a double of his own. 

The Maple Leafs took charge late, a single from centre-fielder Connor Lewis scored left-fielder Jesse Hodges as the Maple Leafs now owned a 4-3 lead, just six outs away from victory. 

Leroux led off the eighth inning with a base hit before stealing second base - his eighth of the season - giving right-fielder Tristan Pompey an RBI opportunity.

Pompey delivered with a single that saw him advance to second on the throw-in from the outfield, tying the game up at four with yet again, another runner in scoring position for the Royals. 

The third single of the inning from Noah Roberts cashed Pompey, giving the Royals the lead heading into the ninth inning.

Three of the Royals five hits in the game came in the eighth inning, supplying the tying and go ahead runs. 

The Maple Leafs made some noise in their last chance to stay in the game. 

After first baseman Garrett Takamatsu hit a single with one out, Ryan Dos Santos entered the game as a pinch runner. 

Third baseman Johnathan Solazzo took the offering from Brandon Deans and hit a single of his own, allowing for the speedy Dos Santos to advance to third as the Maple Leafs now had the tying run just 90 feet away. 

The bats were unable to come up clutch late, stranding the runners on the corners as Deans picked up his third save of the year. 

The Maple Leafs are back at it tomorrow as they welcome the London Majors to town, first pitch at Dominico Field is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. 

The post game report is brought to you by Woodbine Racetrack, official sponsor of the Toronto Maple Leafs Baseball Club!