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Suns down 'Birds economically

May 25, 2004|by TIM KOELBLE

koelble@herald-mail.com

There was not a great deal of offense provided by the Hagerstown Suns on Monday night.

Still, two-thirds of what Hagerstown did generate was enough to post a 4-3 victory over Delmarva in front of 1,057 fans at Municipal Stadium.

The Suns bunched four of their six hits for a three-run first inning and added another run in the fifth, giving Hagerstown's pitchers just enough to hold off the Shorebirds.

Delmarva suffered its sixth straight loss in the opener of the three-game series.

Kelyn Acosta (3-3) went six innings and won with relief help by Mike Musgrave and Tim Alvarez. Alvarez worked the ninth inning to record his ninth save.

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Hagerstown bounced back after being ambushed by Lakewood over the weekend. The BlueClaws scored 22 runs on 33 hits in the two-game set at Municipal Stadium.

"What Lakewood did was hopefully just an aberration," Suns manager Mike Ramsey said. "It was a nice game to win and we played well defensively. Musgrave got in some trouble but was able to help hold the fort."

Travis Ishikawa walked and Nate Schierholtz singled before Pat Dobson reached on a two-out infield single to load the bases in the first against Delmarva starter James Johnson.

Mike Wagner chopped a high-hop grounder over Johnson's head and into center field to score Ishikawa and Schierholtz. After an infield hit by Keith Anderson that reloaded the bases, Dobson scored from third on a wild pitch by Johnson for the 3-0 lead.

Delmarva (20-24) got a run back in the top of the second on a single by Quincy Ascension, walk to Bryan Bass and RBI single by Mike Russell before Acosta retired the side.

The Suns (18-25) received help from Delmarva's defense in the fourth. After Anderson led off with a double, Delmarva third baseman Rafael Diaz committed a double error on a grounder by Tim Hutting.

Diaz booted the ground ball and then compounded the problem by throwing it away, allowing Anderson to reach third.

Anderson eventually scored on a passed ball by Delmarva catcher Juan Gutierrez for a 4-1 lead.

Acosta began to tire and yielded a one-out walk to Gutierrez before Cory Harris, recently sent to Delmarva from the Frederick Keys, blasted a two-run homer off the upper tier of signs in left-center field. to cut the deficit to 4-3. Hagerstown's starter righted himself, though, with a pair of flyouts, but was done for the night after throwing 90 pitches in the 86-degree heat.

Acosta allowed three runs on five hits in his six-inning stint, while walking three and striking out two

"Acosta threw well and kept us in the game and I'll take that," Ramsey said. "There's more good coming from him. He has a higher ceiling to what what he can do."

Musgrave allowed Delmarva two baserunners in the seventh and eighth innings but squirmed out of trouble before Alvarez shut the door in the ninth.

The Suns' only other hit was another single by Schierholtz in the seventh inning. Schierholtz and Anderson each had two base hits.

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