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There ain't no sunshine for Suns

June 24, 2012|By BOB PARASILITI | bobp@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN — The Hagerstown Suns are starting to show the tendency of vampires and gremlins.

They all seem to only come out at night.

Hagerstown continued to show its difficulties in playing daytime baseball as Lakewood used a four-run first inning and rode it to a 5-3 victory on Sunday before 1,079 fans at Municipal Stadium.

The loss allowed the BlueClaws to split the opening four-game series in the second half of the South Atlantic League season. Maybe more importantly, it dropped the Suns (44-29, 2-2) to 3-11 in games played in sunshine.

The Suns made an attempt to end the trend in the ninth as Matt Skole hit a two-out, pinch-hit home run to right-center to bring Hagerstown to within two runs.

Brett Newsome and pinch hitter Caleb Ramsey eached singled to put the tying runs on base, but Lakewood reliever Kenny Giles struck out Cole Leonida to squelch the comeback.

Skole homered for the third straight game, giving him an SAL-leading 17 while tying him for the league lead with 63 RBIs.

It tarnished a strong finish for Suns starter Alex Meyer (6-4), who worked 6 2/3 strong innings before leaving the game after holding the BlueClaws hitless for the last 6 1/3 innings of the stint.

It was Meyer’s start that cost him.

Lakewood jumped on Meyer with a four-run first to set the tone of the game.

Gauntlett Eldemire led off with a single to right and immediately scored on Alejandro Villalobos’ double down the left-field line.

After Chris Duffy drew a one-out walk, Aaron Altherr blasted a three-run homer over the fence in right-center field to jet the BlueClaws to a 4-0 lead.

Hagerstown got a run back in the second against Lakewood starter Ethan Stewart as Justin Miller reached on an error by BlueClaws third baseman Maikel Franco and Newsome followed with a single to left.

After both runners advanced on a wild pitch, Hendry Jimenez grounded to short to score Miller and make the score 4-1.

Steve Souza Jr. gave the Suns a glimmer of hope for a comeback in the seventh when he led off with a long home run to center against Lakewood reliever Colton Murray. The Suns got two more hits in the inning but couldn’t build to a rally.

Lakewood put out the glimmer by adding an insurance run against Suns reliever Christian Meza in the ninth. Chris Duffy reached on an infield single before Altherr singled to left and both runners advanced on Franco’s grounder to short.

Brock Stassi cashed in with a single to center that scored Duffy before Altherr was gunned down at the plate on a throw by Brian Goodwin.

The loss was Meyer’s first since April 29 and his first loss at Municipal Stadium, where he is 5-1. Meyer allowed the four runs on three hits and two walks, while striking out a career-high 11, including seven looking.

The Washington Nationals’ top pick in the 2011 draft is coming off a week when he was named SAL pitcher of the week and was selected to play in the Futures Game in Major League Baseball’s All-Star Sunday next month.

Stewart (4-6) got the win by allowing one unearned run on one hit, while walking one and striking out two. Giles picked up his third save, second in the series.

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