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Late innings are Suns' baggage vs. Tourists

July 23, 2010

ASHEVILLE, N.C. -- It's starting to sound pretty familar.

"(Insert name here) scored in the late innings to defeat the Hagerstown Suns."

For the second straight night, the Asheville Tourists rallied for multiple runs in the seventh inning -- eight this time -- on Thursday for a 13-4 victory over the Suns.

Asheville scored four in the seventh and two in the eighth on Wedneday in a 13-10 win over the Suns. It has been a problem Hagerstown has endured for most of the second half of the season.

Hagerstown (10-17, 46-51) trailed 3-2 heading into the seventh when Asheville unloaded on Suns relievers Wanel Vasquez and Kyle Morrison.

After Vasquez worked a scoreless sixth, the Tourists' bats came to life in the bottom of the seventh. Vasquez allowed three consecutive hits to start off the inning before being replaced by Morrison.

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Morrison retired the first batter he faced, but Suns third baseman Steven King committed an error to extend the inning.

Seven more Asheville hitters came to the plate after the error. When the dust settled the Tourists had scored eight runs on six hits, one walk, one hit by pitch and the error by King to take an 11-3 lead.

The Suns, for the third time in the series, scored first with a run on three hits with Justin Bloxom driving the run in with a grounder in the top of the third inning.

Asheville scored once off Suns starter Graham Hicks (1-3) in the bottom of the fourth inning to tie the game at 1-1.

Hagerstown regained the lead on Bloxom's double in the fifth off Asheville starter Jonathan Vargas (3-7).

In the bottom of the fifth, Hicks allowed two runs on three hits before being replaced with one out in the inning by Vasquez.

Suns DH J.P. Ramirez hit a two-run home run in the eighth. But Asheville got a home run of its own from Nolan Arenado in the bottom of the inning for its final two runs.

Hicks took the loss after allowing three runs in 4 1/3 innings of work. The lefty allowed five hits and five walks while striking out two. Vasquez allowed three runs and Morrison was touched for seven runs.

Hagerstown used infielder Brett Newsome to pitch the final out.

Vargas earned the win for Asheville by tossing five innings and allowing just two runs.

Bloxom, Francisco Soriano and Jeff Kobernus had two hits each for Hagerstown.

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