The Peninsula Oilers' flat, 3-1 loss to the Anchorage Glacier Pilots on Friday at Coral Seymour Memorial Park didn't leave fans with much to talk about.
The three-hit performance by the offense left Oilers head coach Dennis Machado with plenty to discuss.
The Oilers' first home game in 10 days ended with a 25-minute, closed-door meeting between the coaches and players.
"Today had nothing to do with the Glacier Pilots, nor does it ever with any opponent," Machado said after the clubhouse doors reopened. "Today had to do with us and our approach. In the first inning it was there, and then it went away. We let them get off the hook."
Patrick Wisdom gave the Oilers a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning with an RBI single to score Mike Miller.
Other than a solid outing from starting pitcher John Maciel, who allowed one run in seven strong innings, that was about the only highlight for Peninsula.
The Oilers managed two hits over the final eight innings, drawing nine walks and stranding 10 runners on base.
Yet the game was tied at 1 entering the ninth, when Anchorage broke through for two runs against relievers James Mannara and Mark Winkelman.
Aaron Judge led off with a double to left-center field against Mannara, who took the loss.
Winkelman entered the game and Judge advanced to third when Kavin Keyes dropped a perfect bunt down the third-base line, earning an infield hit.
With runners on first and third, pinch-hitter David Legg then sent a first-pitch fastball into left field to score Judge. Scott David moved the runners to second and third with a sacrifice bunt and Kevin Hall drove in Keyes with a sacrifice fly to right field to make it 3-1.
Philip Walby earned the win for the Pilots, while Trevor Bayless picked up the save.
Minutes after Bayless closed the door in the ninth, the Oilers reflected on the loss behind closed doors.
"We just talked about maintaining your approach throughout the game. It's not a one-inning game. It's a nine-inning game. If we would have done that today, it wouldn't have been close," Machado said. "I don't think it has anything to do with what they did. It has to do with what we did. It doesn't really matter what anyone else does. It matters what we do. Today we weren't able to play a nine-inning game. When you do that, you aren't going to be very successful."
Maciel deserved the win in another workmanlike performance. The right-hander didn't yield a hit through four innings, but ran into trouble in the fifth.
That's when Kevin Hall broke up the no-hitter with a two-out single to left field after Maciel issued a pair of walks.
With the bases loaded, Maciel came back from a 3-0 count and struck out Matt Vinson to kill the rally.
Cael Brockmeyer evened the score with two outs in the sixth, when he nailed a 2-1 fastball over the wall in left field.
It was just the second home run yielded by a Peninsula pitcher this season in league play.
"I threw a two-seam (fastball). I start my two-seam down the middle and hopefully it runs down, but it just didn't run, didn't move," Maciel said. "It was right down the middle. It was a good piece of hitting. He got me."
Maciel entered the game with a 0.68 ERA in league play and picked up a no decision in lasting seven innings, scattering three hits, walking two and striking out five on 83 pitches.
He has allowed three earned runs in 33 1-3 innings in the ABL.
"I wanted to pound the fastball. That's what I've done all summer," Maciel said. "The curveball and slider helped me out today, mostly the curveball. You just try to mix it up a little and get a few swing-and-misses and hit your spots."
Added Machado: "John was outstanding tonight. He definitely did more than enough for us to win the game tonight."