Suns' pitching is too cagey for Shorebirds

August 17, 2012

SALISBURY, Md. — Usually, the Hagerstown Suns lean on the  offense late in games.

On Friday, the pitching gave the bats a rest.

Suns pitching retired the last 14 players it faced to nail down a 5-1 victory over Delmarva, making Cutter Dykstra’s first-inning home run stand up as the game-winning hit.

Starter Wilkin Estevez and relievers Ben Hawkins and Alex Kreis combined for 4 2/3 hitless innings to end the two-hit victory.

The victory keeps the Suns (72-50, 30-23) on top in the South Atlantic League Northern Division’s second-half standings.

The Suns came out of the blocks swinging — and walking — in the first inning against Delmarva starter Juan Guzman (1-2).

Billy Burns and Khayyan Norfork led off with walks and trotted home on Dykstra’s sixth homer of the season, a shot to left field for a 3-0 lead.

Delmarva got a run back in the bottom of the inning against Estevez. Estevez was making his first start since coming off the disabled list.

Mike Planeta brought home Glynn Davis, who led off with a single, with a sacrifice fly to cut the deficit to 3-1.

Hagerstown got the run back in the second as Ramsey led off with a single and Carlos Alvarez was hit by a pitch before Burns advanced both runners with a sacrifice bunt.

Norfork drove in the run with a single to left, before Alvarez was thrown out at the plate while trying to score from second.

The Suns added an insurance run in the ninth with two outs with the help of two Delmarva errors.

Estevez (5-1) allowed a run on two hits and three walks with three strikeouts over five innings in his first appearance since May 14. Two of the walks and one of the hits Estevez allowed came in Delmarva’s first inning.

Kreis pitched two innings with two strikeouts to earn his fourth save.

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