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No perks for Suns' Purke in pro debut

May 30, 2012

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Hagerstown’s Matt Purke got roughed up in his professional debut as the Greensboro Grasshoppers extended their lead over the Suns to 7 1/2 games in the South Atlantic League’s Northern Division with Wednesday’s 5-3 victory.

Purke, a 6-foot-4 left-hander who was the Washington Nationals’ third-round selection in the 2011 draft, allowed five earned runs on seven hits and five walks in five innings, striking out only one.

The Suns (30-22) took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Brian Goodwin singled, stole second and scored on Jason Martinson’s single. The hit gave Martinson 48 RBIs this season.

The Grasshoppers (38-15) took a 2-1 lead in the second on consecutive singles by Matt Smith, James Wooster and Austin Barnes and an RBI fielder’s choice groundout by Tony Caldwell.

Hagerstown regained the lead at 3-2 in the fourth using Greensboro’s blueprint, with consecutive singles by Matthew Skole, Steven Souza and Adrian Nieto and an RBI groundout by Caleb Ramsey.

But the Grasshoppers took the lead for good with a three-run fifth. Ryan Goetz walked, and an out later, Brent Keys hit a two-run home run to right for his fourth dinger of the season. Smith then walked to set up Barnes’ RBI double to center.

Adam Conley (6-1) got the win for Greensboro, allowing three earned runs on seven hits and a walk in six innings while striking out five. Kevin Cravey worked the ninth for his first save, striking out two and walking one.

Gregory Holt worked three scoreless innings in relief for the Suns, allowing two hits and a walk.

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