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Miller takes to air to help Suns teach Grasshoppers lesson

July 22, 2013

GREENSBORO, N.C. — When Brandon Miller is on, air raid sirens should sound when he comes to the plate.

The Hagerstown Suns outfielder isn’t bashful about filling the air with bombs.

Miller drove in four runs — two with his 18th home run of the season — to lead the Suns to wins of 6-2 and 7-2 in a doubleheader sweep of Greensboro on Monday.

Miller lifted one of Hagerstown’s three sacrifice flies in the opener for one of his RBI’s before hitting his two-run homer in the seventh of the nightcap to cap the victory.

With the sweep, the Suns (57-41, 19-12) assume a one-game lead over West Virginia in the South Atlantic League’s Northern Division second-half standings. The Power were rained out for the second straight night.

The Suns used a four-run fifth inning to pull away from Greensboro in the opener.

Hagerstown broke a 1-1 tie by batting around to construct the decisive rally.

Narciso Mesa, Tony Renda and Wander Ramos each singled off Grasshoppers starter Ramon Del Orbe (5-6) to produce the first run. Miller grounded to short scored Renda.

After Estarlin Martinez reached on an error, Will Piwnica-Worms hit an RBI double to chase Del Orbe. Craig Manuel hit a sacrifice fly off reliever Jheyson Manzueta to give the Suns the 5-1 lead.

The Suns took a 1-0 lead in the first on a Martinez sacrifice fly. They added an insurance run in the sixth on a sacrifice fly by Miller.

Greensboro got its runs on Blake Barber’s leadoff homer in the third off Hagerstown starter Brett Mooneyham (5-3) and Colin Moran’s sacrifice fly in the sixth.

Mooneyham pitched six innings, allowing two runs on six hits with two stikeouts.

In the nightcap, the Suns erased a 1-0 deficit with a three-run second inning against Greensboro starter Austin Brice (6-7).

Khayyan Norfork started the rally with a one-out triple and scored when Stephen Perez reached on an error. Sam Palace capped the outburst with a two-run homer — his first — for the 3-1 lead.

The Suns extended the lead with a pair of runs in the fifth.

Wes Schill led off with a walk and took second on a wild pitch before moving to third on a single by Mesa. Schill scored when Renda reached on Brice’s throwing error. Renda eventually scored when Bryan Lippincott grounded out against Greensboro reliever Chipper Smith.

Miller hit his homer to right in the seventh after Ramos singled.

Greensboro scored runs in the first and seventh innings.

Hagerstown starter Ian Dickson (1-2) notched his first win, allowing one run on three hits and a walk, while striking out seven. Derek Self pitched the final two innings, allowing a run on three hits.

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