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Suns lose on Mother's Day

May 13, 2002|BY BOB PARASILITI

bobp@hearld-mail.com

On of all days, the Hagerstown Suns bullpen should have remembered Mother's advice on Sunday.

Mammas always warn their kids to stay away from spots where you can get hurt. Hagerstown relievers not only ignored the warnings ... they went there.

Leiby Guzman and Alberto Montes found themselves in the bad part of town - up in the strike zone - as Greensboro teed off for five runs in the final three innings for a 9-5 Mother's Day victory and a split of a six-game series.

"It wasn't the pitches as much as it was the location," Suns manager Mike Ramsey said. "We had a few bad pitches that were up an over the plate and they made us pay for it."

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The price was high, especially since the Suns were coming off of Saturday's dramatic 1-0 win in 10 innings. Any momentum from that victory lasted exactly two innings and survived on life support for another four afterwards.

The Suns (17-21) took an early 2-0 for starter Brian Burres before falling behind 4-2 and tying the game at 4-4 after five innings. The bottom fell out as Guzman allowed single runs in the seventh and eighth before Shelley Duncan unloaded a three-run homer off Montes in the ninth to put the finishing touches on an unpleasant turnaround.

"That's something we have had trouble with all season long," Ramsey said. "We can't seem to shut down the other team. We couldn't stop them."

Hagerstown led 2-0 with single runs in each of the first two innings. Kevin Alexander led off the game with a double and eventually scored on Branden Florence's RBI single. Justin Knoedler hammered a two-out homer to left in the second off starter John Blankenship (4-1) in the second.

Burres pitched well through the beginning of the game but once again began to struggle once he hit the middle innings.

He hit two batters and issued a walk to load the bases in the fourth before working Kevin Thompson to a 3-1 count. The next pitch was up and over the plate right as Thompson hit a base-clearing double to left.

Jeff Segar led off the fifth with a home run to give Greensboro (20-18) a 4-2 lead.

Hagerstown answered with a pair of unearned runs, scored when Alexander reached on third baseman Juan Camacho's fielding error and Julio Cordido's groundout, to tie the game at 4-4.

A pair of sacrifice flies - one by Segar in the seventh and the other by Ivan Reyes in the eighth - gave the Bats a 6-4 advantage they protected for the win.

"Brian did a good job keeping them off the board in the sixth after we scored," Ramsey said. "But the location of pitches just wasn't there in the last part of the game."

Suns Tuesday: at Kannapolis

Time: 6:35 Radio: WHAG 1410

Probable Starters:

Suns - Anthony Pannone (2-1, 4.29)

Kannapolis - TBA

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