Hagerstown Suns Game Notes
The Suns begin a four-game series with the Kannapolis Intimidators at 7:05 p.m. tonight at Municipal Stadium. RHP Jake Irvin (2-3, 5.06 ERA) toes the rubber for the Suns, while Kannapolis counters with RHP Davis Martin (3-3, 6.02 ERA).
SUNS FALL IN BACK-AND-FORTH WITH HICKORY: The Suns allowed two runs in the top of the ninth, which proved to be the difference in a 9-7 loss to the Hickory Crawdads at Municipal Stadium Monday afternoon. After a back-and-forth affair sent the game to the ninth inning tied 7-7, the Crawdads took the lead for good off of Hagerstown left-hander Aaron Fletcher (L, 1-3). After a double and a single put two men on to start the frame, Jonathan Ornelas singled into right to score the go-ahead run for the Crawdads. A Curtis Terry sacrifice fly later in the inning gave Hickory the two-run lead. The Suns couldn't answer Hickory's ninth-inning rally. Hagerstown put two men on base with two outs in the final frame, but Nick Snyder (S, 2) relieved Abdiel Mendoza (W, 2-0) to record the final out. He got Tyler Cropley to line out on the first pitch he threw to end the ballgame.
2ND IS THE BEST: After coming back from the injured list, Israel Pineda has been incredible. Prior to landing on the injured-list April 27, the back stop was hitting .183 over the course of 19 games, with just three extra-base hits. His slugging average was .189. Since returning, the Venezuelan has played 13 games and earned a .260 average. In that time, he's knocked five doubles and two homers and more than doubled his slugging average prior to hitting the injured list. Since returning, his slash line is .260/.327/.480. In that time, only Tyler Cropley (.545 in three games) is the lone Hagerstown Sun with a higher slugging average.
VICKERS VICTORY: Hagerstown's thirdbaseman has been on a tear the month of May, hitting .306 through 15 games. The infielder has driven in six RBI, while walking six times in 58 plate appearances. Vickers has reached base at a .382 rate since the turn of the month. Yesterday, he had multiple hits in a game for the sixth time this season.
BIG BATS: Despite going through a tough stretch the last ten games, Hagerstown bats have been near the top of the league in many categories in 2019. Their .247 average is second in the league behind the 33-9 Delmarva Shorebirds. They have also scored the third-most runs this season (204) behind the Greensboro Grasshoppers (227) and Hickory Crawdads (206). Their success comes from not only having the third-most hits in the league, but also drawing the second-most walks this year, with 164, trailing just the West Virginia Power, who have walked a South Atlantic League-high 161 times in 43 games. The Suns also lead the league in sacrifices with 14. The next closest team is Hickory, who has 12 sacrifices.
UH OH, ALASTRE: Tomas Alastre has been either very effective or not at all this season, there's been no in-between. The righty is now 3-3 on the year after giving up five runs in one inning of work yesterday. In his three wins, Alastre has spun 15.2 innings, allowing just five runs, but in his three losses, he has made it nine innings while surrendering 12 earned runs. A big indicator to Alastre's success in a start is his ability to throw strikes. He is 1-2 in four games where he has walked four or more batters in 2019.
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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