Photo: Burlington’s Livan Soto singles in the fourth inning for the Bees’ first hit of the game. (Steve Cirinna/Burlington Bees)
By John Bohnenkamp
The Burlington Bees have had their best offensive nights when a.) they’re drawing walks and b.) they’re getting timely hits.
Beloit pitcher Reid Birlingmair didn’t allow that to happen.
The Snappers’ right-hander allowed just four hits and two walks in seven innings in a 5-1 win on Wednesday night in a Class A Midwest League game at Community Field.
Birlingmair (3-6) retired the first nine Bees he faced, and finished the night with eight strikeouts.
Birlingmair copied a pattern Bees pitchers have had in victories this season.
“We’ve had games where we give up one run on four, five or six (hits) all season,” Bees manager Jack Howell said. “Especially earlier in the season, our pitchers were really, really strong, and we expected that out of them. You can’t not expect that out of others.”
The Bees (52-49 overall, 13-18 second half) had scored 25 runs in their last four games, but could not get much off Birlingmair. He struck out six of the first nine Burlington hitters he faced, and the only Bees run came in the fourth, when Livan Soto led off with a single and scored on Adrian Rondon’s double.
Birlingmair threw 84 pitches, 56 for strikes. He only walked two.
“That’s the whole point,” Howell said. “If you’re going to work around the plate, we’ll take our walks. But that wasn’t the case. He made us swing the bat. From what I saw at third base, it was three pitches located very well. He was throwing them in all different counts.
“We just got outpitched tonight, that’s all you can say.”
Bees starter Luis Alvarado (4-6) allowed four runs over four innings. But the Burlington relievers — Parker Joe Robinson, Chad Sykes and Ed Del Rosario — allowed just one run over the last five innings, combining for nine strikeouts.
“The pitching was decent,” Howell said. “Alvarado wasn’t at his best, but he was able to limit his damage at times. And I thought we got good innings out of the bullpen. But the pitching doesn’t matter if you’re only going to get one run on four hits.”
Beloit (37-61, 10-20) had 10 hits. Max Schuemann had two hits and drove in three runs, two on a home run in the fourth inning.
ON DECK: The two teams play a 6:30 p.m. game on Thursday.
NOTES: Beloit’s Devin Foyle went 0-for-5, snapping an eight-game hitting streak. … Burlington’s Kevin Maitan went 0-for-4 and had his six-game hitting streak snapped. … Beloit designated hitter John Jones had a seventh-inning single to extend his road hitting streak to 10 games.