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Suns lose third straight

August 30, 1999

SALISBURY, Md. - Scoring runs is one thing, but the Hagerstown Suns had trouble simply putting the bat on the ball Monday night against Delmarva.

Striking out 15 times, the Suns dropped a 6-0 decision, losing their third straight game and falling into a first-place tie with Cape Fear in second half play of the South Atlantic League's Northern Division.

Only one hitter in the Suns' lineup managed not to strike out. Ryan Fleming went 1-for-4 with a double leading off the ninth inning.

Much of the credit for the win goes to Delmarva starter John Stephens, who is 4-1 against the Suns this year, and 10-8 overall. He has not allowed a run to the Suns in his last 30 2/3 innings. Monday night, he went seven innings, allowing four hits and fanning 10.

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The Suns did put Stephens in trouble in the third inning, loading the bases with no outs, but Felipe Lopez struck out, Fleming reached on a fielder's choice when his bunt was fielded by Stephens, who threw home for the forceout, and Orlando Hudson grounded out to end the threat.

But from the third inning until Fleming's double in the ninth, the Suns did not get a hit. They did not get a baserunner from the fourth inning until Fleming's double.

Shorebirds' reliever Gilberto Bello retired the Suns in order in the eighth inning and then worked out of a ninth-inning, bases loaded jam - caused in part by an error. Fittingly, John Maloney struck out to end the game.

Bello struck out five batters in his two innings of relief.

Matt Logan and Jorge Nunez each fanned three times, while Lopez and Joe Dusan struck out two times apiece.

Delmarva scored five times in the bottom of the third on four hits and a two-run error.

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