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Ninth-inning heroics keep Suns on roll

Hagerstown closes to 2 1/2 games behind Greensboro in SAL's Northern Division

June 08, 2012

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. — The Hagerstown Suns stayed red-hot on Friday night, scoring four runs in the ninth inning — highlighted by Hendry Jimenez’s three-run home run — before holding on to score a 6-4 victory over the Kannapolis Intimidators in the South Atlantic League.

The Suns (37-23) moved within 2 1/2 games of Greensboro (40-21) in the Northern Division standings. The Grasshoppers lost 6-2 to Lexington on Friday. Hagerstown has won six straight while Greensboro has lost four in a row.

Facing Intimidators reliever Bryan Blough (1-3), Jason Martinson led off the ninth with a walk before Matthew Skole hit a ground-rule double to left to put runners on second and third. One out later, Justin Miller hit a fielder’s choice grounder to first, with Martinson beating the throw home to break a 2-2 tie and give the Suns a 3-2 lead.

With two outs, Jimenez gave Hagerstown breathing room by launching a shot to right for his first home run with the Suns.

Suns reliever Wilson Eusebio (1-0) gave up Grant Buckner’s leadoff single and Leighton Pangilinan’s two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth, before Gregory Holt came on and retired all three hitters he faced for his first save.

Kannapolis (28-33) took a 1-0 lead in the first inning against Hagerstown starter Kylin Turnbull when Keenyn Walker led off with a single, stole second, took third on a groundout and scored on Rangel Ravelo’s sacrifice fly to center.

Intimidators starter Blair Walters kept the Suns off the board through four innings.

Miller’s fifth home run of the season pulled Hagerstown into a 1-1 tie in the fifth.

Kannapolis regained the lead, 2-1, in the bottom half. Buckner led off with a ground-rule double and came around on two groundouts.

Hagerstown tied it at 2 in the sixth when Billy Burns hit a leadoff single, stole second and third and scored on Martinson’s two-out single.

Turnbull went six innings for the Suns, allowing two runs on six hits and a walk with three strikeouts.

Walters worked seven innings for the Intimidators, allowing two runs on six hits and striking out nine.

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