Royals inch closer to Maple Leafs with win

By Rob Vona

The Toronto Maple Leafs lost the first of a two-game set versus the Guelph Royals on Saturday night at Hastings Stadium by a score of 4-2.

The Royals utilized a two-run seventh inning to lift themselves past the Maple Leafs. 

Jose Vinicio led the game off with a single, extending his hit streak to 20 games and his on base streak to 32 games. 

The speedy Maple Leafs shortstop then stole his 26th base, co-leading the Intercounty Baseball League (IBL) in that category. 

Vinicio later came around to score to give the Maple Leafs the early 1-0 lead. 

Wilgenis Alvarado was solid for the Maple Leafs, blanking the Royals for the first three innings until they capitalized on a fielding error from third baseman Johnathan Solazzo, tying the game up at one. 

The Maple Leafs were quick to respond however, scoring their second run of the game in the top of the fifth inning via an RBI base hit from second baseman Dan Marra. 

Five innings was all that the Royals starting pitcher Hector Yan would see, surrendering only two runs and striking out six batters. 

Alvarado pitched into the sixth inning and served up a leadoff home run to Royals third baseman Malik Collymore, knotting the game up 2-2. 

The Maple Leafs turned to the bullpen after Alvarado’s six innings of work, the Royals acted quick on the pitching change and manufactured two runs off of two leadoff walks.

A pass ball and a sac-fly from Collymore capped off the two-run inning that saw the Royals take their first lead of the game. 

The Royals trio of relievers in Jared Kennedy, Yomar Concepcion - who was credited with his sixth win of the year - and Yuki Narita - who earned his second save of the year - combined for four hitless innings of relief that saw them strike out eight Maple Leafs batters. 

The Maple Leafs have combined for eight runs on 19 hits in their last three games against the Royals - who now trail the Maple Leafs by only half a game in the IBL standings. 

Toronto looks to even up the season series at three games a piece on Sunday afternoon at Dominico Field. First pitch of the game is set for 2:00 p.m..

The post game report is brought to you by Woodbine Racetrack, official sponsor of Maple Leafs baseball.