Hagerstown Suns: Game Notes
The Suns continue the battle for the Governor's Cup with the Shorebirds tonight at 7:05 p.m. It's Hagerstown's Halfway to Christmas Celebration at Municipal Stadium. The first 1,000 fans through the gates will receive a Hagerstown Suns Christmas ornament. RHP Reid Schaller (0-0, 8.10 ERA) gets the nod for the Suns, while Delmarva counters with righty Nick Vespi (4-4, 3.72 ERA).
SUNS DROP SEVENTH STRAIGHT TO SHOREBIRDS: Two unearned runs made the difference in a game the Suns lost 5-3 to the Delmarva Shorebirds Friday night at Municipal Stadium. Tomas Alastre (L, 3-8) got out to a slow start, allowing four runs in the first three innings. JC Encarnacion started the scoring against Alastre in the first, smoking a double 106.1 MPH off his bat to plate Robert Neustrom. The Shorebirds (56-22, 8-1) kept things going in the second inning. After a Nick Horvath walk, Seamus Curran pushed his first homer of the season over the right field wall to give Delmarva a 3-0 lead. Hagerstown (32-47, 2-7) fought back to make the game 4-3 in the fifth.
UH-OH, ALASTRE: Starter Tomas Alastre has struggled for much of the 2019 season. After allowing four runs in five innings last night, the righty has an ERA of 6.16. Alastre has now surrendered 21 runs in 25 innings pitched since May 31 despite working six innings of two-hit baseball June 5 at Lakewood.
SOME WILL WIN, SOME WILL LOSE, SUNS ARE SINGING BLUES: The Suns are going through a rough patch right now, riding their longest losing streak of the season. They've dropped seven-consecutive after taking the first two games of the second half from Rome. Hagerstown is also riding their longest home losing streak of the season (seven games), dating back to game two of a doubleheader June 11 vs Lakewood. The Suns won that game 6-5 after Kyle Marinconz smacked a walk-off three-run homer over the right field fence. To add to that, the team has also dropped five-consecutive games on the road.
HOLES IN THE BATS: In the first two games of this homestand, the Suns are 12-for-66 (.189) and just 2-for-21 (.095) with runners in scoring position. To compound those troubles, the Suns have had just one extra-base hit in the last two games, an RBI double from Nic Perkins in Friday's game. That was Hagerstown's first extra-base hit since Cody Wilson homered to lead-off the third Wednesday vs Hickory--18.2 innings prior to Perkins' double.
2ND HALF STRUGGLES: The pitching staff was the highlight to watch for much of the first half. Holding the best ERA in Class-A baseball in May, the arms helped keep the Suns afloat in the first half, but they've been out to a slow start, watching the team give up 50 runs (44 earned) in the first 77.2 innings of the second half. Hagerstown's second half ERA is 5.10, over 1.50 higher than their first half ERA.
HOWELL-ING IN THE DOG DAYS OF SUMMER: After pitching 8.1 scoreless frames through five appearances to begin his season, Jacob Howell has now allowed at least one earned run in each of his last four games. Yesterday he gave up a season high four runs across just one inning while giving up five hits. His ERA now sits at 5.02.
ROAD WOES: After dropping five consecutive road games against the Rome Braves and Hickory Crawdads, the Suns 2019 road record fell to 14-27. That's compared to an 18-18 record at Municipal Stadium this season. The only team with a worse road record in the northern division is Lakewood, who sports a 12-28 road record and a 19-18 home record. In the Southern Division, Rome has less wins, sporting a 13-21 record away from home. The best road record in the South Atlantic League belongs to Delmarva, who have won 26 of their 37 road contests.
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