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Suns' gifts perfect for Kannapolis

May 28, 2009|By BOB PARASILITI

As guests go, the Kannapolis Intimidators are easily satisfied.

They never seem to ask for any more than what is given to them.

Take the first game of Thursday's doubleheader at Municipal Stadium. Kannapolis made the maximum out of the minimum to snatch a 6-2 victory from the Hagerstown Suns before a slightly dampened Thirsty Thursday crowd. It didn't get much better in the second game as the Intimidators scored two late runs for a 5-3 victory for a sweep.

The Intimidators (22-24) used efficiency and the Suns' generosity to put together three two-run innings that sent Hagerstown (20-23) to its fourth straight loss.

It was an uneven performance for Hagerstown starter Jack McGeary (0-4), who alternated being in control and being in trouble. The left-hander went 4 2/3 innings, allowing all six runs (four earned) on six hits while walking one and striking out six.

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In most cases, it wasn't a case of what McGeary did as much as when it happened. The Intimidators continued to show the ability to take runners and move them around the bases to manufacture runs.

It started early. Kannapolis took a 2-0 lead in the first with the help of a disputed gift -- a balk -- by McGeary.

Justin Greene led off with a single up the middle and moved to second when umpires ruled McGeary balked during his pickoff of Greene at first. With Greene at second, Sergio Morales hit a one-out grounder to second to advance the runner and set up Jon Gilmore's single to right.

John Curtis followed with a double to left that glanced off the glove of diving left fielder Charlie Fermaint to score the second run.

The Intimidators made it 4-0 in the second. Kyle Shelton led off with a walk and advanced to third on consecutive groundouts before riding home on Greene's home run to right-center field. Greene connected on a 2-2 pitch for his second meaningful homer of the series. He homered in the ninth to tie Tuesday's game and set up Kannapolis' 7-5 win in 11 innings.

The Suns got a run back in the third off Kannapolis starter John Edwards as Chris Curran singled and came in on Steve Lombardozzi's two-out single to left center to make it 4-1.

Kannapolis got its final two runs in the sixth with the help of an error by first baseman Tyler Moore, who dropped a throw that would have put out Jose Vargas. It opened the door for Shelton's double to center that set up Brandon Short's RBI grounder and a sacrifice fly by Eduardo Escobar for a 6-1 lead.

The Suns did a little constructing of their own, using singles by Steven Souza and Michael Guerrero to set up an RBI grounder by Sandy Leon. Hagerstown came away empty on prime scoring opportunities in the third, fourth and sixth innings.

Lombardozzi led the Suns with two of their nine hits.

n In the second game, the Suns grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first inning off Kannapolis starter Garrett Johnson.

Lombardozzi and Derek Norris each hit one-out singles and advanced on a wild pitch. Moore hit a hot shot off Gilmore at third for an RBI single before Johnson threw away a pickoff try to score Norris.

The Intimidators took the lead in the third off Suns starter Patrick McCoy on a three-run homer by Loman. Greene led off with a double and Tyler Kuhn drew a one-out walk to start the rally.

The Suns tied the game in the bottom of the inning when Norris singled and scored on Moore's double to left.

But that was it for the Suns.

Kannapolis took the lead in the sixth when Loman led off with a triple to center and scored on Shelton's sacrifice fly. The Intimidators got an insurance run in the seventh when Greene reached on a one-out single and then circled the bases when McCoy threw away a pickoff throw.

Dan Remenowsky pitched the seventh for his sixth save.

Norris and Moore had two hits each for the Suns, who had six in the game.

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