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Suns top Braves, take over 1st place

July 14, 2013

HAGERSTOWN — Sam Palace had two hits and three RBIs and Pedro Encarnacion pitched six solid innings for the win as the Hagerstown Suns defeated the Rome Braves 7-3 on Sunday at Municipal Stadium.

With the win, along with Hickory’s 5-1 loss to Lakewood on Sunday, the Suns moved into first place in the South Atlantic League Northern Division second-half standings, a half-game ahead of the Crawdads.

Palace’s RBI single in the fourth gave the Suns a 2-1 lead, and his two-run single in the sixth capped a four-run rally as Hagerstown extended its advantage to 6-1.

After Rome cut it to 6-2 in the seventh, Hagerstown answered in the bottom half on Wander Ramos’ fifth home run of the season — a two-out, solo blast to right.

Washington Nationals relief pitcher Ryan Mattheus, who’s been on the disabled list since May 20 with a broken right hand, started the game for the Suns on a rehab assignment.

Mattheus pitched only one inning, allowing one run and one hit. Kyle Wren led off with a single to center. He stole second, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on a groundout.

Encarnacion (7-5) worked the next six innings for the Suns, allowing one run, two hits and no walks while striking out eight.

Christian Meza pitched the final two innings for Hagerstown. He escaped a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the ninth, allowing only one run to score on an infield double play before getting a popout to end the game.

Stephen Perez and Brandon Miller each had two hits and an RBI for the Suns, who outhit the Braves 10-5.

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