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Blue Sox walk way to Round 1 split
Sydney continue getting on base, win finale over Aces
10/25/2015 2:16 PM ET
James Yates blasted his first home run of the season in the fourth inning.
James Yates blasted his first home run of the season in the fourth inning. (SMP Images/ABL Media)

MELBOURNE - When the CompassMarkets.com Sydney Blue Sox aren't racking up huge totals of hits, they're still generating traffic on the basepaths. That spelled trouble for the Jet Couriers Melbourne Aces.

Sydney hitters worked eight walks against just four strikeouts, and despite going just 2-from-10 with runners in scoring position, the Blue Sox wrapped up a Round 1 split with a 6-4 win over the Aces on Sunday at Melbourne Ballpark.

In the first inning, Sydney loaded the bases with two outs and took advantage. Minnesota Twins import Michael Quesada walked to drive in the first Sox run, and Mathew Smith followed with a two-run single. James Yates and Jamie Westbrook added RBIs in the second to build a 5-0 cushion for Sydney.

Blue Sox starting pitcher Adam O'Neill cruised into the fifth but ran into trouble there, allowing two of his three runs. O'Neill came an out shy of qualifying for a win, but Todd Grattan picked up the slack. In two innings of relief, Grattan (W, 1-0) allowed one unearned run on one hit.

Three relievers combined to finish off the victory behind him. Detroit Tigers import Calvin Drummond allowed one hit in a scoreless ninth inning to earn the first Sox save of the season.

The Blue Sox have walked more than they've struck out in three of four games so far this season and boast a 20 team walks against 23 strikeouts, the highest walk rate and lowest strikeout rates in the league.

Sydney travel home to Blacktown International Sportspark for the first time this season in Round 2 when they welcome defending-champion Perth for a trans-continental clash. Melbourne welcome Canberra to Victoria.

Tyler Maun is an ABL staff writer. Follow him on Twitter @TylerMaun. This story was not subject to the approval of the Australian Baseball League or its clubs.