By Brian Willwerth
On Monday night, Bill Buckner suffered his first loss as manager of the Brockton Rox and he wasn’t even around to see the Quebec Capitales end the game with a 5-0 victory.
The game started out as a pitchers’ duel between Brockton’s Julian Sampson and Quebec’s Bryan Rembisz. Sampson did not allow a hit through the first four innings, but ran into trouble in the fifth, allowing an RBI single to give the Capitales the lead. Sampson struck out seven over five innings.
Quebec struck for three more runs in the sixthagainst the Brockton bullpen, with the big blast coming on a two-run homer by Michael Thompson.
In the bottom of the inning, it looked like a pitch hit Brockton’s Keith Brachold, but the home plate umpire ruled it a foul ball, saying the ball hit Brachold’s bat first. Buckner came out to argue, and after a minute or two, was sent to the showers for the rest of the evening. It was Buckner’s first career ejection as a manager.
The Rox had a chance to get back in the game in the eighth, as they loaded the bases with one out, but Melvin Falu grounded into a double play to end the threat.
There was another disagreement in the top of the ninth, as Brad Hertzler was called for a balk, allowing another Quebec run to score. Brockton third baseman Jorge Jimenez took exception to that, and he too got tossed.
Lost in the on-field disputes was the outstanding performance by the Quebec pitching staff. Rembisz and Jeff Duda scattered seven hits in the shutout victory.
The series continues Tuesday night. First pitch is at 7:05.