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Lakewood sends Suns to 8th straight loss

September 02, 2011|By BOB PARASILITI | bobp@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN — There’s is something to be said for “They all look like line drives in the boxscore.”

Lakewood’s Ben Rice hit a dribbler that went about 100 feet, but to Hagerstown starter Chris McKenzie, it might as well have bounced of the center-field wall.

That was the beginning of the end for the Suns. Rice’s grounder and foot speed turned a legged-out single into a four-run first inning on Thursday as Lakewood unloaded a 10-1 win over the reeling Suns, sending them to their eighth straight loss.

“They got a couple of hits early, especially that first batter’s ground ball,” said Suns manager Brian Daubach. “Chris let that bother him a little.”

It festered into a rally that the Suns never recovered from. The BlueClaws staked starter Garett Claypool (5-7) to the early 4-0 lead and he did the rest, limiting Hagerstown to three hits while striking out six in six scoreless innings.

“Claypool doesn’t have the best record but he is a good pitcher,” said Daubach of the Lakewood right-hander, who carries a 3.47 ERA. “He worked both sides of the plate. That’s what you want to do when you have the lead — pitch and keep your defense on its toes.”

Claypool didn’t allow the Suns their first hit until Randolph Oduber’s one-out single in the fourth. Hagerstown showed little resilience as it got its only run on Kevin Keyes’ 16th homer off reliever Chase Johnson to lead off the seventh as the Suns lost for the 13th time in the last 15 games.

Otherwise, it was all Lakewood.

The BlueClaws batted around against McKenzie for a four-run, six-hit first.

Rice led off with an infield single to short and stole second to set up the BlueClaws’ run. The BlueClaws scored on singles by Carlos Alonso and Cameron Rupp, Anthony Hewitt’s double and a wild pitch.

The BlueClaws added two unearned runs in the fourth and two runs in both the sixth and ninth innings to round out the rout.

Alonso led the way with three hits and three RBIs, adding an RBI single in the fourth and a run-scoring double in the sixth. Jeff Lanning added three hits, including a leadoff homer against reliever Dean Weaver in the ninth.

McKenzie lasted four innings, allowing six runs on eight hits while walking two and striking out two.

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