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Suns take what is given to edge Rome

April 08, 2011

ROME, Ga. — The Hagerstown Suns showed the Rome Braves that walks — and good base running — can be lethal.

The Suns used a pair of leadoff walks and some heads-up navigating of the bases on Friday to collect a 2-0 victory.

Hagerstown (2-0) managed only four hits against a trio of Braves pitchers, but took advantage of six walks to get the job done.

Bryce Harper, the Washington Nationals’ and baseball’s top selection in the 2010 draft, went 0-for-3, but drew a leadoff walk in the eighth inning, leading to the Suns’ insurance run.

Rome pitchers Caleb Brewer and Blaine Sims held the Suns hitless for 6 2/3 innings.

Jason Martinson drew a two-out walk off Sims (0-1) and stole second. He scored when Blake Kelso grounded a single to center for Hagerstown’s first hit and a 1-0 lead.

Harper greeted Rome reliever Kyle Mertins with a leadoff walk. Harper took second on a wild pitch and moved to third on David Freitas’ grounder before scoring on Wade Moore’s single to right.

Hagerstown starter Matt Grace (1-0) allowed four hits and struck out four in six shutout innings. Sam Brown went two innings and Chris Manno got the save in the ninth to complete the seven-hitter. Hagerstown’s pitchers did not allow a walk.

Randolph Oduber led the Suns with two of their four hits.

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