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Another close loss magnifies Suns' issues

July 20, 2007|by BOB PARASILITI

When things are going well, everything in baseball is viewed through rose-colored glasses.

But when they're going bad, they're viewed through magnifying glasses.

Things aren't going too well for the Hagerstown Suns right now, and little cracks are starting to look like the Grand Canyon.

"We just make enough little mistakes to lose," Suns manager Tommy Herr said. "When you aren't playing well, the mistakes show up bigger."

That was the case - again - Thursday. The Suns pushed Lexington into extra innings for the third straight game. But a bunch of little things - a picked-off runner, a high pitch, a missed RBI chance and a bobble play - meant that for the third straight game, the Suns worked overtime for a loss, this time 3-1 in 11 innings to the Legends.

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This time, Jordan Parraz hit a two-run double down the left-field line off reliever Joe Welsh with one out in the 11th to score Eric Taylor and Tim Torres for the win.

It was Hagerstown's fourth straight loss, all by two runs or less.

"We have pitched well and have had a chance to win every night," Herr said. "We just aren't doing it. We aren't hitting well with men on base to get them in and produce runs."

Getting runners in the right positions was challenging enough for the Suns.

Hagerstown was set down in order in six of the 11 innings and only managed three hits against a trio of Lexington pitchers, including starter Polin Trinidad.

Trinidad baffled the Suns for seven innings, allowing one run on two hits while striking out six. Santo Luis (2-2) allowed one hit over three innings while striking out four before handing it over to Kyle DeYoung in the 11th for his fourth save.

"Their lefty (Trinidad) did a good job," Herr said.

Suns starter Don Levinski equaled Trinidad with six scoreless innings while allowing four hits. He left holding a 1-0 lead that didn't last.

Hagerstown took the 1-0 lead in the second, with the help of the Legends. The Suns' own mistake kept them from scoring more.

Leonard Davis reached on a fielding error by Lexington third baseman Koby Clemens and took second when Joe Napoli was hit by a pitch. The rally took a major hit when Davis was picked off second, although Napoli moved into scoring position during the rundown.

Napoli took third as Francisco Plasencia reached base when Taylor pulled his foot too quickly off the bag at first. Napoli scored on Jhonatan Solano's single.

"We make a base-running mistake at second and it cost us a run," Herr said. "That single would have scored two runs."

Lexington tied the game in the seventh against reliever Colby Mavroulis.

Nick Moresi drew a leadoff walk, took second on Brandon Caipen's sacrifice bunt and scored on Torres' two-run single.

The Suns threatened but failed to win the game in the 10th when Solano hit a one-out double to left and Patrick Nichols was issued an intentional walk. But pinch hitter Francisco Guzman popped up and Jonathan Castro struck out against Luis.

Lexington brought out the Suns' magnifying glass with the two runs in the 11th.

"We're not catching a lot of breaks right now," Herr said. "We just have to battle through it."

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