Mel Melehes pitched 7 2/3 solid innings and the Toronto Maple Leafs won for the sixth time in their past seven games, edging the Burlington Twins 5-4 in Intercounty Baseball League play Sunday (June 26) at Dominico Field at Christie Pits.
The lowly Twins (4-15) made life tough for the Leafs (11-8) all afternoon, but a five-run Toronto sixth inning was enough to propel the fourth place Leafs to the win, while Burlington lost its third straight and for the eighth time in 10 games.
Melehes allowed four runs – just two earned – on nine hits with 10 strikeouts and three walks in a gritty 139-pitch performance. Sam Jew earned the save by getting the last four outs, allowing two hits and walking twice.
The Leafs are in Kitchener Monday night and host the Twins again Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at Dominico Field at Christie Pits.
The Twins struck first on Sunday with Adam Cholewka driving in a run with a sacrifice fly in the second and a run-scoring single in the fourth to give Burlington starter and loser Bill Ralston a 2-0 lead.
But in the sixth the Leafs mustered up five runs on four hits and an error, helped along by three straight walks issued by reliever Jeff McLeod after he relieved Ralston in the sixth.
Kyle Degrace had a two-run single to key the inning, with Dan Gibbons delivering an RBI single and Raul Borjas working McLeod for a bases loaded walk, with another run scoring on an error.
Melehes made that stand up until the eighth when he was chased after giving up two runs, but Jew was able to survive some wildness to close out the game.
Brian Ivan had two hits and scored a run for the Leafs, who managed just eight hits. Both he and Dan Marra had bunt singles after a lead off walk to Jordan Castaldo that started the sixth run uprising.
Ryan Asis and Carlos Garcia both had two hits for the Twins, who had 11 hits in total. Jonathan Slattery added a two-run double in the eighth to make things interesting late.
Ralston was charged with all five runs – four earned – on six hits over 5 1/3 innings, striking out one and walking three.