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Suns fall by decision to GreenJackets

April 23, 2013|By BOB PARASILITI | bobp@herald-mail.com
  • Hagerstown's Tony Renda, left, tags out Augusta's Matt Duffy as he attempts to steal second base in the top of the fourth inning Tuesday night at Municipal Stadium.
By Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN — Sometimes, winning doesn’t come from domination.

It’s more like surviving barely. It’s avoiding taking any hits, especially those of the self-inflicted variety.

The Augusta GreenJackets didn’t exactly knock out the Hagerstown Suns on Tuesday. Instead, the GreenJackets hung to the end and basically outpointed the Suns for a 3-1 victory before 538 fans at Municipal Stadium.

Augusta (12-6) barely put the ball in play, using an assortment of plays that just found grass to get the lead. And the GreenJackets enhanced it with an insurance run without the benefit of a hit to ice the game.

In the end, it was its own mistakes that sealed Hagerstown’s second straight loss, even though the Suns were once again in a position to pull out the game in the ninth inning.

The Suns’ biggest mistake led off the ninth when Shawn Pleffner greeted reliever Stephen Johnson with a shot to the fence in right field. Pleffner had an easy double in hand, but ran through manager Tripp Keister’s stop sign and tried for a triple.

Augusta recovered and the relay beat Pleffner with time to spare for the first out of the inning. Brandon Miller followed with a single, which would have scored Pleffner to whittle the deficit to one or at least would have moved him to third with no outs.

The GreenJackets turned to closer Tyler Mizenko, who walked Estarlin Martinez to put the tying run on base, but got J.R. Higley to hit a grounder up the middle that second baseman Trevor Brown fielded on the shortstop side of the base and turned into a game-ending double play.

Mizenko earned his sixth save as Augusta’s fourth pitcher of the night to give Martin Agosta (3-1) the victory. Agosta pitched 6 1/3 innings, allowing a run on five hits, while striking out nine.

Agosta was locked in a pitchers’ battle with Suns starter Ivan Pineyro until the fourth inning

The Suns (10-9) took a 1-0 lead in the fourth as Wander Ramos led off with a drive over the left-field wall for his third homer of the season.

The GreenJackets countered immediately in the fifth, pecking away like a boxer trying to win on the judge’s card.

Brown and Charles Jones led off with bloop singles to center off Pineyro. Brown advanced to third on Andrew Cain’s fly to deep right for the second out of the inning.

Jesus Galindo hit a clutch single to left to tie the game before Shayne Houck added his own run-scoring single to left to bring Jones home from second for the 2-1 lead.

Augusta moved to a 3-1 lead in the seventh without the benefit of a hit against Hagerstown reliever David Fischer.

Fischer walked Jones and hit Eric Sim with a pitch to lead off the inning. With two outs, Fischer hit Matt Duffy to load the bases before walking Houck to bring home the run.

The Suns mounted their only other threat in the bottom of the seventh, when Miller led off with a double. With one out, Agosta left in favor of Derek Law, who struck out Higley before allowing Pedro Severino to single to put runners on first and third. Stephen Perez grounded out to end the threat.

Pineyro (0-2) lasted five innings, allowing two runs on six hits with two walks and a strikeout. Fischer allowed one run on no hits with two walks and a strikeout.

Duffy led Augusta with two of the GreenJackets’ six hits.

Miller and Pleffner had two hits each for Hagerstown.

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