Hagerstown Suns Game Notes
The Suns open up an eight-game homestand Friday night at 7:05 p.m. at Municipal Stadium versus the Hickory Crawdads. Hagerstown sends RHP Francys Peguero (1-2, 2.37 ERA) to the hill to start the series. Meanwhile, Hickory puts RHP Tyree Thompson (0-0, 4.50 ERA) on the bump.
SUNS GET WALKED OFF ON IN 9TH: Hagerstown allowed two runs to score in the bottom of the ninth and watched Lakewood walk-off on a wild pitch 4-3 to complete a series sweep over the Suns at FirstEnergy Park Thursday night.
Angel Guillen closed things out for the Suns The righty walked Abrahan Gutierrez to begin the ninth before Jimmy Smith pinch ran for the catcher. After retiring the next two batters, Ben Pelletier singled to put runners on the corners with two away, the Suns clinging to a 3-2 lead. Hunter Stovall hacked at this first pitch he saw and lined it for a single in front of Cody Wilson in right to tie the game and move Pelletier to third. The first pitch of the next at-bat went passed catcher Israel Pineda all the way to the back stop to plate Pelletier and win the game for the BlueClaws. The game marked Lakewood's first walk-off and series sweep of 2019.
POWER OUTAGE: The Suns have not hit a homer in their first five games at FirstEnergy Park this season. That's the longest the Suns have gone at an individual park without hitting a home run this season. That'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: Through 38 games, Hagerstown has been involved in 16 one-run games and has a 6-10 record. That includes five of their last eight games, which they have a 1-4 mark during. The 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. The staff as a whole has a 2.41 ERA with 120 strikeouts across 123.1 innings in their last 13 games. The 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.
QUALITY CATE: The 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. The southpaw also leads the Suns in ERA (1.99), WHIP (0.95), wins (3), strikeouts (50) and innings pitched (45.1). 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.
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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South Atlantic League Stories from May 17, 2019
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