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Suns just can't uncover all the bases

August 10, 2009|By CONNER GILBERT/Staff Correspondent

Sometimes, a game is defined not by what happened as much as what didn't.

The Hagerstown Suns did not capitalize on several scoring opportunities, stranding 10 runners, in a 2-1 loss to the Rome Braves at Municipal Stadium on Monday.

"We had people in scoring position," said Suns manager Matt LeCroy. "We just didn't execute."

Rome manufactured a run in the top of the first when Joel Campusano led off with a single to center, stole second and scored on a pair of groundouts to give the Braves a 1-0 lead.

In the bottom of the third, Hagerstown created its first scoring chance when Valerio Heredia and Chris Curran led off with back-to-back bunt singles and moved into scoring position on Rome starting pitcher J.J. Hoover's throwing error.

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But Hoover bounced back, getting a groundout and two strikeouts to end the threat.

The Suns came away empty on another scoring chance in the fourth when Steven Souza was thrown out at home while trying to stretch a triple into an inside-the-park home run.

"They made some good defensive plays," said LeCroy. "We just didn't get those breaks tonight."

But Hagerstown finally scored in the fifth when Curran came home on Steve Lombardozzi's two-out double down the left-field line to tie the score at 1-1.

The Braves answered right back in the top of the sixth. Adam Milligan doubled, took third on a single and scored on a groundout to give Rome a 2-1 advantage.

In the bottom half of the inning, the Suns had runners at first and second with no outs. But Hagerstown again came away empty handed when Michael Guerrero bunted into a double play before a strikeout ended the inning.

"We had runners on first and second and couldn't execute a bunt," said LeCroy. "Those are the things we have to do to win. We can't depend on a double or a home run."

Hagerstown threatened to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth. Heredia drew a two-out walk before Curran's infield single to shortstop, but Lombardozzi struck out on a full-count pitch to end the game.

"The biggest thing as a hitter is that you can't let it get to you and press too much," LeCroy said. "But at the same time you have to relax and get it done."

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