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Suns tell different story to Legends

June 30, 2013|By BOB PARASILITI | bobp@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN — The Hagerstown Suns wore red on Sunday.

It was fitting because they were seeing a little of it, too.

The Suns battled back from an embarrassing end to the completion of a suspended game from Saturday but giving a solid effort in Sunday’s seven-inning nightcap to pull out a 2-1 victory over Lexington at Municipal Stadium.

Hagerstown fell 11-1 after trailing 5-0 with two outs in the top of the fourth when heavy rain halted Saturday’s game.

“We got the split and won two of four games against (Lexington),” said Suns manager Tripp Keister. “That first game wasn’t us. We weren’t crisp and didn’t play well. The second game resulted in a win, but I was just glad we played better.”

Game 2 was the more aggressive style the Suns have displayed this year.

Hagerstown (44-34, 6-5) used four second-inning singles to create two runs and settled in a six-inning stint by starter Brett Mooneyham, who controlled the Legends’ offense, for its second win in the last six games.

“It was almost like basketball. Our defense jump started our offense,” Keister said. “It was a good start for us. After the first game, you have to believe that momentum does make a difference in baseball.”

The Suns got both their runs against Lexington starter Miguel Almonte (3-6) in the second.

Estarlin Martinez and Wes Schill each hit one-out singles to right before Martinez advanced to third on Stephen Perez’s fly to deep center. Craig Manuel hit a bloop single to center to score Martinez, followed by Narcisa Mesa’s RBI single to left to stake the Suns to a two-run advantage.

Mooneyham (4-2) allowed five hits over six scoreless innings to get the win. Gilberto Mendez allowed a leadoff homer to Lexington’s Cam Gallagher in the seventh before nailing down his first save.

The Suns turned two critical double plays helped Mooneyham, but he siezed the game in the third when Lexington’s Yowill Espinal reached third with none out but never scored.

“Sometimes pitchers have to pitch out of those situations,” Keister said. “He executed the pitches, making it so they had to score and they never did.”

In the suspended game, Lexington tacked on six runs in the fifth through eighth innings to turn the game into a laugher.

Mark Donato drove in two runs, while Fred Ford, Michael Antonio, Jin-Ho Shin and Bubba Starling each had RBIs.

The Suns avoided the shutout with a run in the sixth inning off Lexington reliever Aroni Nina when Tony Renda and Perez opened the inning with singles to put runners on first and third, setting up a sacrifice fly by Shawn Pleffner to make the score 7-1.

Ian Dickson replaced Dixon Anderson (5-5), who started Saturday, allowing four runs on three hits and five walks in 2 1/3 innings.

Christian Meza and Bryan Harper closed out the game.

Nina (5-3) allowed a run on two hits in four innings work to get the victory. Mark Threlkeld had three hits and an RBI for Lexington.

The Suns managed only four hits.

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