Suns can't erase all their errors

June 01, 2005|by BOB PARASILITI

Dante Brinkley has been the catalyst, the leader and the tone-setter of the Hagerstown Suns this season.

Unfortunately for the Suns, he did it again on Tuesday.

Brinkley suffered a freak, sudden ankle injury during pregame warmups and was scratched from the starting lineup. The shock of the situation seemed to carry over for the Suns, who committed five errors and played distracted in an 8-4 loss to Lakewood.

"After it happened, everything seemed positive," Suns manager Gene Richards said. "But then, they started to hold their heads and there was no vibe. It was so quiet in the stadium (because of the team's Senior Day promotion with no announcements or music). No one took the lead to get us going."

Brinkley was working his pregame running and stretching in right field when he stepped on one of the drainage caps and severely twisted his ankle. He lay on the field in pain for about 10 minutes before he was carried into the clubhouse for treatment.


Richards said Brinkley will have X-rays this morning to determine the severity of the injury.

"We're hoping for the best," he said.

But the best didn't come out in the Suns after the incident.

Brinkley was scheduled to bat third as the designated hitter Tuesday, but Richards was forced to make alterations. Carlos Gomez was inserted into right field and the third slot, moving Derran Watts to left and Corey Coles into the leadoff slot as the DH.

The Suns committed one error in each of the first five innings to hand Lakewood all eight of their runs while signaling a long night for starter Blake Eager (3-3). Eager left after throwing 80 pitches, allowing four runs over four innings because his innings were prolonged by the errors.

"We made five errors and that's part of the game," Richards said. "But when they happened and where they were in the flow of the game, it was like no one was there to play. No one was really aggressive."

Lakewood started reaping benefits in the first inning as Mike Dzurilla laced a two-out double down the right-field line that Gomez misplayed to give up third base. Sam Orr followed with a seeing-eye single to give the BlueClaws a 1-0 lead.

The teams traded leadoff home runs in the second as Ryan Frith hit his third in the top of the inning, countered by Mike Carp's 12th in the bottom for a 2-1 Lakewood lead.

Lakewood did most of its damage in the fourth and fifth innings, scoring six runs.

Dzurilla hit a two-run single before ending up on third on a throwing error by Gomez as the BlueClaws moved to a 4-1 lead.

Doug Gredvig hit a one-out double off reliever Kevin Mannix and scored on Frith's single. But after Grant Psomas misplayed a grounder to third for the Suns' fifth error, Sean Gamble drove in a run with a bases-loaded fielder's choice and Greg Isaacson hit a two-run double to blow the game open for starter Joe Bisenius (1-0), who entered the game with an 8.44 ERA.

The Suns got two runs on Ambiorix Concepcion's two-run single in the sixth and added a score on Wilson Batista's double in the ninth, but were never really in the game.

"Everything is tough, but we let a little adversity destroy us," Richards said. "We can't let that happen. No matter what happens to Brinkley, this isn't going to happen again. Today is the last day to worry about it. We will have to carry on and the guys will have to refocus."

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