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Bluma slams door on Shorebirds

August 03, 2000|By BOB PARASILITI

Bluma slams door on Shorebirds



Marc Bluma just said "No."

That was a bold statement coming from a Hagerstown pitcher, especially since the Suns defense has opened easier than an automatic door lately.

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But Bluma put his foot down, and in turn, set the Delmarva Shorebirds down. The right hander pitched 2 2/3 innings of one-hit relief Thursday to halt the Shorebirds for a 7-6 Hagerstown victory to end a five-game losing streak.

"I went out and concentrated a lot harder and was more intense," Bluma said. "I just wanted to go in an tell them their momentum was done."

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And he all but stopped the Shorebirds in their tracks. For one game, the Suns (15-24, 49-60) executed defensively, got big clutch hits and pitched effectively to take a lead and preserve it.

Starter Tyler Renwick (2-0) struggled through his five innings of work, surrendering a 4-0 lead. Alvin Morrow - who finished with two hits and three RBI - lined a two-run home run to right to give the Suns a 6-5 lead after five as Bluma sailed onto the scene.

And he emphatically pushed the Shorebirds off the deck.

Bluma struck out the side in the sixth and fanned five of the first six men he faced to keep the Suns ahead.

"The team needed it," Suns manager Rolando Pino said. "Bluma did an outstanding job keeping them right there and keeping the momentum for us. The last couple of nights, we had been giving it back to them. Tonight, we kept it going for us."

The Suns had been in a streak where they committed 16 errors in the last six games, allowing 19 unearned runs. Bluma was one of three pitchers who committed an error in his last outing on Tuesday which resulted in five free runs.

"When your team scores, you have to go out there and send a message," Bluma said. "I wanted to let them know that they were in for a battle and had better be ready."

The Suns took a 2-0 lead in the first against starter Jancy Aldrade (6-6) on two-out RBI singles by Morrow and Kurt Keene. Hagerstown went up 4-0 in the third on a sacrifice fly by Keene and a run-scoring single by Ryan Bundy.

But Renwick tired, allowing Delmarva (23-16, 61-48) two runs in the fourth and three in the fifth as the Shorebirds used Gary Cates' two-run double to take the lead.

Morrow hit his third home run since joining the Suns last week to give Bluma the lead.

"That's as well as we played in a while," Pino said. "We executed well and we hit the ball real well. But we won because we executed well."

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