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Sum of parts divides Suns

August 09, 2004|by BOB PARASILITI

bobp@herald-mail.com

No matter how you looked at it, nothing was going to add up to the advantage of the Hagerstown Suns on Sunday.

"We didn't get a real good start and they are a good hitting ball club and we kicked it around a little," Hagerstown manager Mike Ramsey said. "It all adds up to a poor day ... a real poor day."

It was 15 plus six plus three equaling 12 - 12 runs, that is - for Asheville as the Tourists scored in five of the nine innings and steamrolled the Suns by a 12-3 count.

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Hagerstown allowed 15 hits, walked six batters and committed three errors to allow the Tourists run around the bases like they were putting down laps at the Brickyard 400.

Daniel Portorreal, in his first start since returning to Hagerstown, allowing five runs on seven hits while walking five over four innings. Portorreal was the Suns' starter in the 2003 home opener.

"It was one of those kind of some games we have," Ramsey said. "We didn't play well. It wasn't a good start for Porto. Walks have been a problem for him. If he would tighten up his command, we might have a pretty good pitcher there. When we got behind them, it didn't seem like we wanted to come back."

Portorreal got out of a bases-loaded jam in the first, before the Suns provided him with a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the inning without the benefit of a hit.

Jay Knowlton, who later left the game with an injured throwing arm, reached on a two-base error when Trey George dropped his fly to left.

With two outs, Eddy Martinez-Esteve was hit by a pitch and Jesse Schmidt reached on second baseman Simon Ferrer's error to score the run.

But Portorreal got in trouble in the second and allowed Randy Blood and Ian Stewart - who finished the game with four hits and three RBI - to give the Tourists a 2-1 lead.

The Suns managed to tie the game on Knowlton's RBI single, but the equation for victory became jumbled from there.

Asheville got two unearned runs in the third off the throwing error by Knowlton that ended his game. The Tourists got a gift run in the fifth when Randy Blood walked and took second on Stewart's single. Stewart was picked off first and got in a rundown, which allowed Blood to score when the Suns failed to execute the play for a 5-2 lead.

Stewart, Colorado's top pick in the 2003 draft, blasted his South Atlantic League-leading 26th home run to drive in two runs off Ben Wilson in the sixth.

Asheville put the game out of reach in the eighth by hitting for a collective cycle. Stewart doubled and scored on Eddie Montague's two-run single. Chris Iannetti followed with a triple on a ball that got past a diving Mike Wagner in right field, which chased Wilson.

Ryan Callihan allowed a two-run home run to Joe Gaetti in his first appearance for the Suns for the 12-2 lead.

Hagerstown got a run back in the eighth by loading the bases before Derek Barrows lofted a sacrifice fly against reliever Ching-lung Lo.

Asheville starter Darric Merrell controlled the Suns over seven innings on seven hits while walking one and striking out three.

"We made some mistakes, but when you give up 15 hits, three errors and six walks, that's tough," Ramsey said. "You can't win too many when you do that."

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