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Suns' Moore is not enough vs. Intimidators

May 27, 2009|By BOB PARASILITI

Tyler Moore broke out of a short slump by driving in all five of Hagerstown's runs Wednesday, but it was three less than the Suns needed.

The Kannapolis Intimidators took advantage of every opportunity and situation by finding different ways to create runs, including two in the 11th inning, to grab a 7-5 victory over the Suns before 1,764 fans in an Education Day matinee.

The Intimidators erased Moore's fingerprints on the game when leadoff hitter Justin Greene tied the game at 5-5 in the ninth by stroking an opposite-field homer to right off Hagerstown closer Osvaldo Rodriguez. It was Rodriguez's first blown save in eight tries and forced the game into extra innings.

"We put ourselves in that position," said Suns manager Matt LeCroy. "We had our closer out there with a chance to put the game away and they hit it out. We just didn't get it done."

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Many times this season, the Suns (20-22) have been forced to stay close and come from behind. This time, Hagerstown got ahead but couldn't prevent itself from falling behind.

"That was a game we have to win if we want to stay in the race and have a good season," LeCroy said. "We have to win these kind of games."

Kannapolis (21-24) wrestled the game away from the Suns by using a 15-hit attack to the fullest. The Intimidators didn't do a lot fancy, but picked the right spots to be efficient.

"They put the ball in play with two strikes," LeCroy said. "We have been struggling with two strikes, but we did battle back and had a chance to win."

Kannapolis touched reliever Chris Lugo, the fifth Suns pitcher, for four hits in the 11th to construct the winning rally.

John Curtis led off the inning with a single to right and took second on Jose Vargas' sacrifice bunt. Curtis went to third when shortstop Jose Lozada short-armed Lugo's pickoff throw for an error, allowing it to tick off his glove and go into center field.

Eduardo Escobar ripped a triple to left over the head of Hagerstown's drawn-in outfield to bring home Curtis. He became the insurance run, scoring on Greene's RBI single off of a diving Lozada's glove to give the Intimidators the 7-5 lead.

Kannapolis' Dan Remenowsky retired the Suns in order in the 11th for his fifth save.

Hagerstown starter Marcos Frias gave up runs in the second and fourth innings to fall behind 2-0 before Moore checked in.

The Suns got to Dexter Carter, the South Atlantic League's strikeout leader, in the fourth on consecutive singles by Steve Lombardozzi and Derek Norris to set up a three-run homer to left by Moore.

"(Moore) has been struggling the last four games but has been working hard," LeCroy said. "It was a positive sign to see him hit the ball off that guy because he leads the league in strikeouts. We need him to hit and be a run producer."

The Intimidators took a 4-3 lead in the seventh on Morales' two-run double off reliever Patrick Arnold. The Suns regained the lead in the eighth on Moore's hard-hit, two-run single off of Gilmore at third with the bases loaded.

Charlis Burdie (2-3) got the win with two innings of hitless relief for the Intimidators. Moore and Chris Curran each had two of the Suns' seven hits.

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