'Birds Fall Silent, Bow to 'Hoppers in Opener
SALISBURY, MD - On the strength of a seven-run fifth inning, the Greensboro Grasshoppers topped the Delmarva Shorebirds 9-0 on Wednesday night at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium. The loss snapped a seven-game winning streak for the Shorebirds (24-5) as the Grasshoppers (21-10) won their fifth consecutive ballgame.
Steven Jennings (2-4) picked up his second win of the season for the Grasshoppers as he worked 5.1 scoreless innings, allowing just three hits while walking three and striking out three. This was the second-time Jennings defeated the Shorebirds, duplicating his effort from back on April 20.
Hector Guance (1-1) is hung with his first loss of the year after allowing two runs on three hits while walking three and punching out six in 4.1 innings. Jennings combined with Joe Jaques, Samuel Reyes, and Cam Alldred for the shutout as they limited the Shorebirds to just four hits.
Greensboro opened the scoring in the top of the third. Lolo Sanchez walked to lead off the frame and then stole second base. He then advanced to third on a wild pitch and came home to score on a Mason Martin sacrifice fly to left to make it 1-0 Greensboro.
The Grasshoppers broke the game open with a seven-run fifth. With one out, Kyle Mottice walked, which signaled the end of the day for Guance. Nick Gruener replaced him on the hill and immediately allowed a Martin single and then walked Rodolfo Castro to load the bases. After being down in the count 0-2, Grant Koch worked the count back full and eventually drew a walk to force home a run and push the Greensboro lead to 2-0. Patrick Dorrian followed Koch with a bases-clearing triple, and Zack Kone made it 6-0 with a single that plated Dorrian. Brett Kinneman capped off the inning with a two-run homer off the left field foul ball, extending the Greensboro lead to 8-0.
In the sixth, Mottice lead off the frame with a double and came around to score on a Castro RBI single, making it 9-0 Greensboro.
Delmarva's best chance to score came in the fourth. Jean Carlos Encarnacion beat out an inflield single with two out, and Seamus Curran doubled to the wall in right to move Encarnacion to third. Nick Horvath then tapped out to the pitcher, erasing the threat.
Encarnacion led the offense for the Shorebirds, going a perfect 3-for-3 for three Delmarva's four hits.
Everyone in the Greensboro lineup reached base at least once and eight of nine starters scored at least a run. Mottice finished 3-for-4 with a double and two runs.
The loss is the third straight for the Shorebirds at Perdue Stadium after starting the year 12-0 at home.
The Shorebirds continue their series against the Grasshoppers Thursday morning. Reigning Orioles Minor League Pitcher of the Month Grayson Rodriguez (3-0, 0.89) toes the rubber for Delmarva against SAL co-wins leader Osvaldo Bido (5-0, 1.26) for Greensboro. First pitch is set for 10:35 a.m. with gates opening at 9:30. Thursday morning is a Field of Dreams Game presented by Chesapeake Health Care, as well as a Maryland Pride Thursday. Pregame coverage on Fox Sports 960 AM and the MiLB First Pitch App begins at 10:20 a.m. with Will DeBoer and Sam Jellinek on the call.
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