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New-look Suns get the same old results

June 15, 2007|by BOB PARASILITI

The names changed. The players changed. The style of game changed.

But the outcome ... it stayed the same for the Hagerstown Suns.

It was another game ... another one-run loss.

The Suns rolled out their new lineup - featuring three newcomers and a collection of players moving into starting jobs - but came up short as Lexington manufactured three runs with the help of Hagerstown mistakes on Thursday for a 3-2 victory before 3,969 fans at Municipal Stadium.

It was the Suns' first game since the mass-exodus promotions of outfielders Justin Maxwell, Chris Marrero and Mike Daniel along with first baseman Brett McMillan. But the results were the same as Hagerstown played its 27th one-run game and came out on the short end for the 15th time.

"I like our lineup," said Suns manager Tommy Herr. "It's going to take a little time to figure out where everyone is supposed to hit in the lineup."

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Lexington used two sacrifice flies and a groundout to drive in its three runs while the Suns got their runs in the usual fashion from a new face - a seventh-inning home run from Robert Jacobsen.

"We pitched well today," Herr said. "(Eric) Arnesen got a little out of sorts in the seventh inning and gave up two runs, which ended up being the difference in the end."

The Legends cushioned their 1-0 lead in the seventh, with the smallest measure of help from the Suns.

Drew Holder singled to left and Tim Torres walked to lead off the inning. With Eric Taylor squaring to bunt, catcher Jhonatan Solano allowed an Arnesen pitch to tick off his glove for a passed ball to advance the runners into scoring position.

Taylor grounded to second to bring in one run and Koby Clemens - the son of New York Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens - hit a sacrifice fly deep to left to score the other for a 3-0 lead.

"They were trying to give us an out by bunting the ball to move the runners and we gave them the passed ball to move the runners without getting the out," Herr said. "If we get the bunt and the out, the grounder is the second run and the sac fly would be the third out and we're out of it. ... We keep making those types of mistakes that come back to kill us."

Starter Jhonny Nunez, Arnesen, Coby Mavroulis and Chris Lugo combined to pitch well, despite the loss, to keep the Suns in the game. They combined to allow six hits and struck out four, but walked six.

Meanwhile, Lexington's pitching was equally effective, holding the Suns to four hits, even though starter Ben Norris only lasted three innings.

Reliever Sergio Severino and Reid Kelly came on to pitch the rest of the way. Severino (2-4) got the win, allowing two runs and two hits over 3 1/2 innings while Kelly got the save with 2 2/3 innings of hitless relief.

Hagerstown busted through in the seventh when the help of two of its new editions. Center fielder Francisco Plasencia drew his second of three walks with one out off Severino followed by Jacobsen's blast to left. Jacobsen wasn't in the starting lineup, but was inserted when Francisco Guzman was ejected.

"That was a long home run to be hit out of here in left field," Herr said. "(Jacobsen) looks like a good hitter. I've been watching him in batting practice and he has a nice stroke and can go either way with the ball."

The Suns came up short in the ninth when Plasencia and Jacobsen drew two-out walks off Kelly before Mike Martinez struck out to end the game.

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