Suns lose ground to Kannapolis

August 18, 2011

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. — The Kannapolis Intimidators took the lead with a six-run rally in the third inning and won the opener of a critical four-game series with the Hagerstown Suns 12-4 on Thursday in the South Atlantic League.

The Intimidators  (68-52, 31-21) lead the Suns (69-53, 29-23) by two games in the race for the Northern Division’s second-half title.

Kannapolis took a 1-0 lead in the first inning against Hagerstown starter Matthew Grace. Carlos Sanchez hit a one-out single and Dan Black drove him in with a two-out double.

The Suns scored twice in the second against Intimidators starter Phil Negus to take the lead. Adrian Neito got it started with a one-out double and scored on Chris Curran’s two-out single. Curran scored on Michael Taylor’s double.

Hagerstown made it 3-1 in the third when Adrian Sanchez led off with a double and scored on David Freitas’ single.

But Kannapolis chased Grace in the bottom half while scoring six runs on six hits — singles by Carlos Sanchez, Semien, Dan Black, Trayce Thompson, Rangel Ravelo, Ross Wilson and Keenyn Walker — for a 7-3 lead. The Suns were hurt by errors from Jason Martinson at short and Kevin Keyes in right field.

Adrian Sanchez cut the lead by one with his second home run of the season in the fifth inning for the Suns.

The Intimidators touched up Suns reliever Gregory Holt for a run in the bottom of the fifth. Thompson walked, went to second when Ravelo was hit by a pitch and scored on Miguel Gonzalez’s double for an 8-4 lead.

Kannapolis made it 10-4 in the sixth against Wilson Eusebio. Semien doubled leading off and Black was hit by a pitch before Thompson’s double scored Semien and Wilson’s single scored Black.

The Intimidators scored two more runs in the eighth on Ravelo’s RBI double and Wilson’s RBI single to finish the rout.

Negus (4-0) allowed four earned runs on eight hits and a walk while striking out five in five innings to get the win for Kannapolis. Justin Collop got a three-inning save, allowing just one hit while striking out three.

Grace (11-6) took the loss, allowing seven runs — just three earned — on eight hits and a walk while striking out three in 2 2/3 innings.

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