Bottom of batting order helps Suns top Grasshoppers

May 08, 2009|By BOB PARASILITI

Chris Curran admits he had been working on his hitting.

Now, he might want to take lessons in trotting.

Curran provided a surprising jolt out of the ninth spot in the batting order. Hagerstown's center fielder launched a two-run home run to cap a three-run second inning and lead the Hagerstown Suns to a 4-2 win over Greensboro on Thursday before 2,629 fans at Municipal Stadium.

It was Hagerstown's sixth win in the last seven games.

Curran took Greensboro starter Tom Koehler's 2-0 pitch and sent it over the fence in right field. The center fielder put his head down and started running out the hit until he hit second base, where he dropped down a gear to leisurely finish his victory lap.

"I was surprised," he said. "I started sprinting because when I looked up, it wasn't out yet. I was running, thinking it was bouncing off the top of the wall and I was going to have a standup triple. But it went out and I got the job done."


Curran might have been the last candidate to hit a homer. At 5-foot-7 and 160 pounds, he isn't big in stature and he had been struggling with a .197 batting average, complete with 13 hits and 16 strikeouts. The hit didn't shock everyone, though.

"It probably was a surprise for him, but he is getting better and better," said Suns manager Matt LeCroy. "He has been coming in and working and doing extra work with (batting coach Tony Tarasco). It all comes from working hard and trusting his talent."

Robby Jacobsen opened the second with a double to the center-field wall and eventually scored on Stephen Englund's two-out single to right. Curran came up and enhanced the Suns' lead by going the distance.

"Man, it was 2-0 and I was looking middle, in for my pitch," Curran said. "I have been struggling and working with Tony. He got me to back up a little. When I got that hit, when I got to the dugout, I went and thanked him immediately."

The Suns turned over the lead to starter Terrance Engles (2-1), who controlled the Grasshoppers and survived a couple a shots through the box. Greensboro broke through for a run in on a double by Paul Gran and a two-out, infield single off of Engles.

"Engles is a veteran and he's throwing the ball well," said LeCroy. "Our pitching and our defense has kept us in it for the whole half."

The Suns picked up an insurance run in the seventh when Jose Lozada led off with a single, took second on Steve Lombardozzi's sacrifice bunt and scored on Aaron Suess' single to center.

Kevin Mattison got the run back in the eighth with a leadoff homer to right off reliever Kevin Light. Carlos Peralta and Osvaldo Rodriguez came in to nail down the victory.

Jacobsen and Steven Souza had two hits each for the Suns.

The Herald-Mail Articles