Suns hold off Shorebirds to extend lead

June 10, 2011

SALISBURY, Md. — Adrian Sanchez drove in a key insurance run in the ninth inning on Friday and the Hagerstown Suns hung on for a 6-5 victory over Delmarva to extend their South Atlantic League Northern Division lead.

Blake Kelso and Sanchez each singled in a run to give the Suns (37-24) a much-needed three-run cushion heading into the bottom of the inning.

Delmarva scored two runs off closer Ben Graham, who got Shorebirds shortstop Manny Macado to ground out to end the game with the tying run at first base.

Hagerstown’s win, combined with Greensboro’s loss to Kannapolis, moved the Suns to a 2 1/2-game lead with nine games remaining in the first half.

The Suns posted an early 4-0 lead in support of starting pitcher Matt Grace (7-4).

Hagerstown got two runs in the first against Delmarva starter Tim Adelman (4-4), all after two outs, on David Freitas’ double, followed by Randolph Oduber’s single.

The Suns extended the lead with two runs in the third on a two-run double by Jason Martinson, again with two outs.

Grace pitched six innings, allowing two earned runs on five hits and four walks to get the win.

The Shorebirds got on the board in the fourth on Micheal Ohlman’s solo homer. Delmarva added single runs in the sixth and seventh innings to move within 4-3.

Kieron Pope hit an RBI grounder in the sixth and Adam Gaylord scored on a passed ball in the seventh as the Shorebirds cut their deficit to one.

First baseman Brett Newsome was injured in a collision with Brandon Webb in the ninth and left the game.

The Suns were led by Kelso with three hits. Bryce Harper added two hits to raise his average to .341.

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