Keyes unlocks secret to end Suns' losing streak

May 23, 2011

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Newcomer Kevin Keyes got his first two hits and drove in four runs to help the Hagerstown Suns beat the Greensboro Grasshoppers 10-5 in a Monday morning matinee, ending the Suns’ four-game losing streak.

Keyes crushed a three-run homer to highlight Hagerstown’s four-run fourth inning, then added a bases-loaded single in the top of the eighth.

The win kept Hagerstown (28-16) alone in first place in the South Atlantic League Northern Division and dropped Greensboro (26-18) two games behind.

Matt Grace (4-4) picked up the win for the Suns, scattering seven hits in five innings while walking two and striking out three. Four Suns relievers each threw an inning to hold on to the victory.

The Grasshoppers took a 1-0 lead with three hits off Grace in the bottom of the first, but Hagerstown answered with a pair in the top of the second on Sean Nicol’s two-run double.

Bryce Harper led off the Hagerstown third with a single. He took second on a flyout and scored on a two-out single by Brett Newsome, giving the Suns a 3-1 lead.

In the fourth, Nicol singled and Blake Kelso walked. After both runners advanced on a passed ball, Adrian Sanchez reached on a fielder’s choice that scored Nicol and pushed Kelso to third.

Keyes increased the margin to 7-1 with his blast to left-center.

Greensboro got two runs back in the seventh, but Hagerstown again responded right away, scoring three runs in the eighth.

Nicol walked and Kelso reached on an error. After Sanchez lined out, reliever Michael Ojala intentionally walked Harper to load the bases.

Keyes made it hurt, singling to center to score Nicol. Jason Martinson followed with a single up the middle to drive in Kelso, then Harper scored on a passed ball.

The Suns are off today before beginning a four-game homestand Wednesday at 6:35 p.m. against Asheville.

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