Hagerstown Suns Game Notes
e Suns finish up their series against Lakewood tonight at 6:35 p.m. at FirstEnergy Park. RHP Jake Irvin (2-3, 5.74 ERA) toes the rubber for Hagerstown, while Lakewood sends RHP Dominic Pipkin (1-1, 5.01 ERA) to the bump for the finale.
SUNS DROP EARLY LEAD AGAIN: Despite a quality start from Tim Cate, a three-run sixth pushed Lakewood in front of the Suns 3-2 at FirstEnergy Park Wednesday morning. Cate made it unscathed through the first five frames before getting into trouble in the sixth. After allowing a Matt Kroon lead-off single and striking out Luis Garcia , the University of Connecticut-product allowed three consecutive hits from Lakewood. Malvin Matos singled to plate Kroon prior to scoring from a Jack Conley double driven to center field. Hunter Stovall hit a base-knock to drive in the final run and put Lakewood in front 3-2. Hagerstown's lefty starter finished the game working six innings, punching out four and allowing three runs. He also reached the 50 strikeout milestone for the 2019 season. He is the first Suns pitcher to hit that mark this year and the third player in the South Atlantic League to do so.
QUALITY CATE: e University of Connecticut-product has now issued six consecutive quality starts dating back to April 16. In that time frame, the Suns are 3-3, but he has worked 36 innings, allowing just eight runs (2.00 ERA) while fanning 38 batters. e southpaw also leads the Suns in ERA (1.99), WHIP (0.95), wins (3), strikeouts (50) and innings pitched (45.1). e 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.
POWER OUTAGE: e Suns have not hit a homer in their first five games at FirstEnergy Park this season. at's the longest the Suns have gone at an individual park without hitting a home run this season. at's not all, since May 3, the Suns have scored 47 runs in 11 games, which is tied for ninth in the South Atlantic League. Remember, that includes their 15-1 win over Delmarva Monday. Excluding that game, they have scored 32 runs in that span, which is the second-fewest over that span. Lakewood is hitting .198 and has scored just 25 times in that span.
ONE RUN, NO FUN: rough 38 games, Hagerstown has been involved in 15 one-run games and has a 6-9 record. at includes four of their last seven games, which they have a 1-3 mark during. e next most-frequent run differential in Suns games this season is three runs. Hagerstown is 1-4 in three-run games this season.
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. Joan Adon and Tim Cate continued that torrid stretch in the Suns homestand, spinning twelve combined innings while allowing two runs and each earning a quality start. Friday, the Suns earned their first shutout of the season, blanking Lakewood 3-0. e staff as a whole has a 2.41 ERA with 120 strikeouts across 123.1 innings in their last 13 games. e best team ERA in the South Atlantic League over the same length of time belongs to the Lakewood BlueClaws, who own a 2.17 ERA, but are just 5-8 in their last 13 games since April 29.
TWO FOR THE SHOW: With Lara's homer in the top of the third inning with two outs Monday, Lara now has hit six of his team-high seven homers this season with two outs. In addition to that, three of his seven 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.
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