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Suns' fortunes change drastically in shutout loss

April 11, 2012|By BOB PARASILITI | bobp@herald-mail.com
  • Hagerstown Suns first baseman Brett Newsome (30) reaches up to catch a late throw as Lexington's Justin Gominsky (22) is safe during Wednesday's South Atlantic League game at Municipal Stadium.
By Ric Dugan/Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN — Fortunes change so quickly in baseball.

On Tuesday, the Hagerstown Suns couldn’t make an out.

On Wednesday, that’s all they could do.

Lexington starting pitcher Mike Foltynewicz and two relievers combined on a four-hitter in a 3-0 shutout of the Suns in a morning matinee before a crowd of 530 on Education Day at Municipal Stadium.

The victory allowed Lexington to salvage one game in the three-game series as the Suns ended their season-opening homestand with a 5-2 record.

Foltynewicz (1-1) handcuffed the Suns for six innings, allowing three hits and two walks while striking out eight to set the tone.

It was a far cry from the offensive production the Suns had just 12 hours earlier, when they scored a 16-8 victory on the strength of 17 hits, four of which were home runs, including two grand slams.

The conditions on Wednesday were similar to Tuesday, with a strong prevailing wind blowing from left to right field, but Hagerstown was unable to use it to its advantage this time.

Instead, the Suns left nine runners on base, including four in scoring position. Hagerstown hitters struck out 10 times and were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position.

Reliever Murilo Gouvea followed Foltynewicz to the mound for Lexington (2-5) and allowed one hit in two innings before Dayan Diaz came on in the ninth to record the save.

Suns starter Brian Dupra (0-2) opened the game by retiring the first eight Lexington batters until Justin Gominsky beat out an infield single with two outs in the third.

The Legends broke the scoreless tie in the fourth. Jordan Scott reached on an error by Hagerstown first baseman Brett Newsome and scored from first on Zach Johnson’s RBI double that rolled down the left-field line for a 1-0 lead.

Lexington added a run in the sixth, as Delino DeShields Jr. led off with a bunt single down the third-base line before coming around on singles by Scott and Johnson.

The Legends closed the scoring in the eighth without the benefit of a hit off Suns reliever Nathan Karns.

Scott drew a one-out walk, took second on a wild pitch and stole third before scoring on a wild pitch for a three-run cushion.

The Suns squandered prime scoring opportunities in the second and fourth innings.

Hagerstown had runners on second and third with one out in the second, but failed to capitalize as Hendry Jimenez grounded to first before Foltynewicz struck out Narciso Mesa to end the threat.

The Suns had runners at first and third with two outs in the fourth, but Foltynewicz once again got Mesa on strikes to keep the shutout intact.

Washington Nationals outfielder Rick Ankiel batted third as the designated hitter in his third appearance with the Suns to complete his rehabilitation assignment. He went 1-for-1 with a third-inning single and a walk before Billy Burns pinch hit for him in the fifth.

Ankiel was placed on the Nationals’ disabled list to start the season and has been rehabilitating a tight quadricep. He is scheduled to rejoin the Nationals on Saturday. He was 4-for-8 with a home run and three RBIs during his three-day stint with the Suns.

Burns and Mesa joined the Suns on Tuesday when outfielders Brian Goodwin and Angelberth Montilla were placed on the disabled list with injuries. Goodwin suffered a leg injury while running out an infield hit on Monday. Montilla will undergo surgery for a broken hamate bone.

Johnson led the Legends with two hits and two RBIs.

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