Hagerstown Suns Game Notes
The Hagerstown Suns open up a three-game homestand with the Lakewood BlueClaws tonight at Municipal Stadium at 7:05 p.m. RHP Joan Adon (2-1, 3.80 ERA) gets the nod for the Suns while Lakewood sends RHP Ben Brown (0-0, 0.00 ERA) to the bump.
SUNS OVERCOME SLOPPY FIELDING TO TAKE FINALE: The Suns clawed back, drawing a bases loaded walk in the ninth to pick-up a 7-6 win against the Augusta GreenJackets at SRP Park Monday evening. After Gilbert Lara and Jacob Rhinesmith hit back-to-back singles to start the inning and Omar Meregildo was walked to load the bases, Pablo O'Connor drew the go-ahead walk for the Suns. After jumping out to a 4-0 lead behind a strong start from Tomas Alastre, who received a no-decision after tossing five, three hit innings, the Suns nearly gave the game away with poor fielding in the sixth. Ryan Williamson came onto the bump and gave up five runs, none of which were earned after three errors in the frame, two from shortstop Lara. The Suns trailed 5-4 after the inning and after Augusta added another run from a Jacob Gonzalez double to right that scored Diego Rincones to increase Augusta's lead to 6-4. The win was granted to Jhonatan German (W, 1-1), who entered in a tie game in the bottom of the eighth and also finished the ninth, striking out a batter and allowing just one hit. Meanwhile, Jesus Tona (BS, 1; L, 1-1) earned the loss against the surging Suns.
ARMS DEALING: After allowing 10 or more runs in back-to-back outings against the Greensboro Grasshoppers, the pitching staff rebounded on the seven-game road trip. In those seven games, the starters logged four quality starts and twice had worked five or more innings, allowing just one run, but didn't go the six required for a quality start. In addition to that, the staff as a whole had a 3.04 ERA with 61 strikeouts across 62.1 innings on the trek.
QUALITY INSPECTION: After Francys Peguero notched his third consecutive quality start Sunday, which just so happened to also be the third consecutive quality start for a Suns pitcher after Cate and Jake Irvin both twirled quality starts to start off the series against Augusta, the Suns are just 3-6 in nine games where starters toss a quality start.
QUALITY CATE: The University of Connecticut-product has now issued four consecutive quality starts dating back to April 16. In that time frame, the Suns are 2-2, but he has worked 24 innings, allowing just four runs (1.50 ERA) while fanning 27 batters. The southpaw also leads the Suns in ERA (1.62), WHIP (0.90), wins (2), strikeouts (39) and innings pitched (33.1). The 2018 second round pick pitched in four games for Hagerstown last year and fininshed with 19 strikeouts in 21 innings to pair with a 5.57 ERA.
BETTER LATE THAN NEVER: While Justin Connell didn't join the Suns until April 15, his presence has certainly been felt since being activated from Extended Spring Training. The 2017 11th round pick from Plantation Florida has the 2nd-highest batting average on the team, a .328 mark. Connell is hitting with a slash line of .328/.427/.531 in 18 games in the South Atlantic League.
TWO FOR THE SHOW: With Lara's homer in the bottom of the ninth with two outs Wednesday, Lara now has hit five of his team-high six homers this season with two outs. In addition to that, three of his six homers this season have been two-run blasts. Half of the Dominican-native's homers have come in the seventh inning or later this year. In the four games that Lara played against the Tourists prior to this series at McCormick Field, he knocked a pair of homers and drove in four runs.
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