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Suns lack vigor as 'Hoppers split with win

August 08, 2011|By BOB PARASILITI | bobp@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN — The Hagerstown Suns were low on energy and defense on Monday.

The Suns committed three errors in the first six innings as Greensboro took an early lead and parlayed it into a 9-3 victory to earn a split in the four-game series.

The atmosphere in Municipal Stadium was dialed way down on Monday as the Suns played without Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg and in front of 6,000 less fans — 704 compared to Sunday’s 6,758 — in this game.

“Yeah,” said Suns manager Brian Daubach about the errors hurting Hagerstown’s chances. “We came out a little sluggish. We didn’t have our usual energy. Yesterday might have taken a little out of them after playing in front of a big crowd and the doubleheader.”

It showed from the first Greensboro batter.

Noah Perio reached on a throwing error by second baseman Sean Nicol and took third on Marcell Ozuna’s double to left. Christian Yelich drove in the first run by grounding a Ryan Demmin (2-2) pitch to second. Mark Canha’s sacrifice fly to center gave the Grasshoppers the early 2-0 lead.

The Suns (62-51, 22-21 second half) got a run back on Greensboro starter Robert Morey (7-7) in the bottom of the inning. Michael Taylor led off with a single to the outfield grass behind second base that shortstop Daniel Black threw away. Taylor took third on a passed ball and scored on Chris Curran’s sacrifice fly to center.

Greensboro (60-54, 20-24 second half) extended its lead to 4-1 in the fifth as the door opened with Ryan Fisher being hit by a Demmin pitch.

Isaac Galloway followed with a double to left and both runners scored on Ozuna’s double down the left-field line. It was Ozuna’s fifth double in the last three games and sixth extra-base hit in the series.

The Grasshoppers took advantage of two throwing errors by Hagerstown third baseman Justino Cuevas to add a run in the sixth for a 5-1 lead. Canha led off by reaching on Cuevas’ throw off his grounder and took second on Jacob Realmuto’s single. Black laid down a sacrifice bunt to the third-base side that Cuevas threw away as Canha scored from second.

“Ryan threw great and he had great command of his curve,” Daubach said. “We just didn’t play good defense behind him. Their 2-3-4 guys swung the bats well the whole series. It’s tough to pitch around all of them. You have to pick your poison.”

Greensboro made it 7-1 in the seventh on Realmuto’s two-out, two-run double to left-center field off reliever Colin Bates.

The Grasshoppers finished their scoring in the ninth off reliever Ben Graham. Perio and Yelich each singled and scored on Canha’s double.

The Suns scored two runs off Greensboro Mike Brady in the ninth as Kevin Keyes and Jason Martinson each walked and scored on Adrian Nieto’s double and Nicol’s sacrifice fly.

Ozuna finished with three hits and two RBIs, while Canha and Realmuto added two hits and two RBIs each. Demmin allowed five runs, but only two were earned.

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