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Shorebirds knock Suns' block off

May 16, 2007|by BOB PARASILITI

Municipal Stadium was a hard-hat zone Tuesday.

It went from being a construction site to a demolition area in a matter of minutes.

Delmarva built a foundation by using execution to outscore Hagerstown 4-1 early and eventually brought down the Suns' three-game win streak in the Shorebirds' 6-2 victory before an Education Day morning matinee crowd.

The first five runs of the game were products of batters moving runners into scoring position to set up RBI situations for teammates. The Shorebirds just had more opportunities to take advantage of than the Suns.

"There are just games where it's not a matter of what we did wrong as opposed to what they did right," said Hagerstown manager Tommy Herr. "Today, we were a little flat and we weren't as aggressive as we have been."

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The Shorebirds were content scoring a run at a time, just to get a lead for starting pitcher Jeff Moore. Moore entered the game with a 1-0 record and 2.65 ERA in seven starts for Delmarva.

The right-hander locked down a Suns offense that had scored 28 runs in the first three games of the series, not allowing it to get started with only two hits over six innings.

"You have to give credit to Moore," Herr said. "He was stingy today. And when he got in trouble, he was able to get out of it. We didn't have a lot of quality at-bats today. You have to tip your cap to him. He hit good spots."

The Suns were able to get to Moore early, but not often.

Hagerstown opened the game with Justin Maxwell pulling into second off shortstop Francisco Gonzalez's throwing error on a leadoff grounder. Marcos Cabral and Mike Daniels hit consecutive grounders to second to bring home Maxwell for a 1-0 lead.

Suns starter Marco Estrada fell victim to a similar building-block style in the second inning when Josh Howell led off with a double down the left-field line, took third on Stu Musslewhite's sacrifice bunt and scored on Miguel Abreu's single to tie the game.

Musslewhite started a similar formula in the fourth when he led off with a double and came around to score on grounders to second by Abreu and Victor Castillo for a 2-1 lead.

Delmarva made it a 4-1 lead in the sixth off reliever Aaron Jackson when Chris Vinyard led off with a single and took second as Howell reached on a fielding error by shortstop Michael Martinez. Musslewhite laid down a second sacrifice bunt to move the runners before Abreu grounded to short and Castillo singled to drive in the runs.

"Usually when they play for one run here, I want to thank them," Herr said. "They are giving us outs with the bunt. One run usually isn't going to beat us in this park. But (Delmarva manager Gary Kendall) felt like he had a good pitcher on the mound and decided one run was going to be enough."

Delmarva added a run in the seventh when Danny Figueroa and David Cash collected one-out hits off Suns reliever Chris Lugo before Martinez's second error on Vinyard's grounder added to the score.

The Suns cut the deficit to 5-2 in the eighth on doubles by Daniel and Leonard Davis off reliever Chad Thall. But the hits were far and few for the Suns, who were outhit 11-5 by the Shorebirds.

Delmarva put the finishing touches on the win on Vinyard's RBI double off Juan De Los Santos in the ninth.

"They got four doubles today and that puts a guy in scoring position right away," Herr said. "Then they got high-hop grounders - the ones where sometimes you make the play and sometimes you don't. It just was not our day."

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