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Hagerstown snaps 6-game skid in split

July 27, 2010|By BOB PARASILITI

HAGERSTOWN -- Destin Hood was feeling a little parched.

The outfielder and his Hagerstown Suns teammates were starting to feel like they had spent the last six games in the desert.

"We were thirsty for a win," Hood said.

The oasis came in the form of a seven-run first inning as the Suns sent 10 hitters to the plate and rode the early surge on Monday to a 9-3 victory that not only earned a doubleheader split with the West Virginia Power, it ended a six-game losing streak.

The Suns lost the opener -- and their sixth straight -- in an 8-4 decision behind the pitching of Jordan Zimmermann, a Washington Nationals starting pitcher who made a rehabilitation start at Municipal Stadium. A couple of pitches up in the strike zone and shoddy defense by the Suns led to an easy win for the Power (13-18, 44-57).

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It all changed in the second game.

The Suns (11-20, 47-54) didn't allow Power starter Quinton Miller (1-1) out of the first inning. Hood started the party with a two-run triple down the right-field line, which was later copied by Marcus Jones and capped with a two-run homer to dead center by Eury Perez.

"It was good for us to show that we can do it," Hood said. "Everyone says hitting is contagious. I believe it."

The inning started with singles by Jeff Kobernus and new shortstop Rick Hague before Hood's one-out triple. Hood beat the throw home on J.P. Ramirez's fielder's grounder to first. Brett Newsome followed with a single to set up Jones' and Perez's hits for the 7-1 lead.

"That was big," said Suns manager Matt LeCroy. "We wanted to do better in the first game, but we came out with better energy in the second game. There are guys in (the locker room) who are willing to take it on by themselves, but this is a team game."

Evan Bronson (1-0) took advantage of the lead in his first Municipal Stadium start, allowing two earned runs on four hits in five innings.

West Virginia scored in the first on Jarek Cunningham's one-out triple to center and Jose Hernandez's grounder for a 1-0 lead that didn't last.

Hagerstown added two runs in the third on a two-run double by Perez with two outs to push out to a 9-1 lead.

West Virginia got its final two runs in the fifth when Jairo Marquez singled and Elevys Gonzalez doubled and both scored as Evan Chambers reached on Hague's fielding error.

Dean Weaver and Rob Wort pitched the final two innings for the Suns in relief. Perez finished with two hits and four RBIs to key Hagerstown's 10-hit attack.

In the opener, Zimmermann (0-1) made his fifth rehab start, but first with the Suns. He allowed three runs in each of the second and third innings. Rogelio Noris hit a three-run homer in the second and Hernandez hit a two-run shot to highlight the third to give the Power an early 6-2 advantage.

The Suns scored two runs in the second on a two-run homer by Ramirez after a leadoff single by Hood off West Virginia starter Brett Lorin.

West Virginia scored a seventh run off Zimmermann in the fifth on David Rubinstein's single to right. The Power scored its final run in the seventh on another Rubinstein single off Suns reliever Shane McCatty, the son of Washington Nationals pitching coach Steve McCatty, who was in attendance to see Zimmermann pitch.

The Suns rallied for two runs in the seventh on a sacrifice fly by Koberus and an RBI triple by Hague.

But the second game made it all better.

"I think we took advantage of a couple of balls that were left up (in the strike zone)," LeCroy said. "Our offense has done a good job with that this year. Hood's hit was huge. It gave us a relaxed feeling and picked us up after a loss in the first outing."

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