Brian Daubach is a glass mostly full kind of guy.
But he is still kind of happy that the Hagerstown Suns’ tumbler hasn’t been filled to the rim quite yet.
“We played well, but there are some things we have to work on,” the Suns manager said Friday after Hagerstown notched a 5-2 win over Lexington.
It takes a pretty magnified eye to find much wrong with the Suns these days. They entered Saturday’s game on an eight-game win streak with a 19-9 record and were just a half-game out of first place in the South Atlantic League’s Northern Division.
“We had a first-and-third situation where we didn’t get a run in,” Daubach said. “We have to do better in those situations because the bullpen isn’t going to bail us out every time. They have been great so far, but there will be times when they won’t be able to save us.”
Offensively, the Suns have found ways to score throughout the lineup with a combination of speed and timely hitting.
The Suns still make 27 outs a game, so there are things for Daubach and his staff to work on.
“It’s nice to win and still have a lot to work on,” Daubach said with a smile. “Usually, the minor leagues aren’t all about winning, but it really is to these guys. They come out here and play hard every game.”
Suns on rise
If you had Bryce Harper’s name in the office pool as the first Sun to be promoted, you lost.
Harper remains in Hagerstown through the Suns’ first set of moves, which revolved around the pitching staff. The biggest subtraction is starter Cameron Selik, who is now with Single-A Potomac.
The right-handed Selik was near-perfect to earn his promotion. The Nationals’ 22nd-round pick in the 2010 draft was 3-0 in five starts for a 0.31 ERA. He opened the season with 26 2/3 scoreless innings.
Meanwhile, reliever Chad Jenkins was sent to the Gulf Coast League after going 1-0 with a 5.00 ERA in six appearances.
Neil Holland, Washington’s 11th-round pick in 2010, was promoted to replace Jenkins. Holland, who made his Hagerstown debut with one inning of work Thursday, was 3-1 with three saves in 19 appearances for Vermont last season.
The Suns have two pitchers — Robbie Ray and A.J. Cole — who have joined the team. Cole, a 19-year-old right-hander who was Washington’s fourth-round selection in 2010, started Saturday in place of Selik. The Suns will have to make a move for Ray, who will pitch Monday.
Baseball’s top draft pick continues to amaze with his recent exploits with his bat ... and his arm.
Harper collected two outfield assists Friday on spectacular plays.
The first came in the third inning of the Suns’ 5-2 victory with Delino DeShields Jr. on first with one out. DeShields went on Matt Grace’s pitch to Jiovanni Mier. Mier lined a fly to Harper in right in front of the track, who fired to first to complete an inning-ending double play.
Harper, a converted catcher, caused a roar in the fifth inning on Tyler Burnett’s shot off the right-field fence. Burnett raced to second for a double but saw Harper fall as he was trying to field the ball. The runner started to third, but never made it as Harper gathered himself and delivered a one-hop throw from the warning track to third baseman Blake Kelso for the out.
Offensively, Harper continues to impress as he gets more comfortable as the season unfolds. Through Friday, he was 24-for-47 (.511) with six home runs, eight doubles and 16 RBIs since being fitted for contact lenses on April 20.