Hagerstown Suns: Game Notes
Hagerstown continues their series with the Greensboro Grasshoppers tonight at 7:05 p.m. at Municipal Stadium. The Suns send southpaw Jackson Stoeckinger (1-2, 2.54 ERA) to the bump, meanwhile, Greensboro counters with RHP Osvaldo Bido (10-4, 3.19 ERA).
SUNS LOSE HIGH-SCORING AFFAIR: The Suns were not able to overcome two big innings from the Grasshoppers offense in a 9-7 loss to Greensboro at Municipal Stadium Monday. It was first a five-run fifth inning for the Grasshoppers (51-30, 7-5) against Hagerstown (33-49, 3-9) starter Joan Adon. After Greensboro loaded the bases with one out, Connor Kaiser delivered an RBI single to cut their deficit to 3-2. Mason Martin then followed with a 449-foot grand slam to right field to put the Grasshoppers on top 6-3. Adon finished the day allowing six runs on five hits over 4.2 innings of work. He also walked five batters, . Suns pitchers walked a season-high 10 batters. Their previous season-high was seven.
CLIPPING CLUFF: The Washington Nationals' sixth-round draft pick, Jackson Cluff has made an immediate impact with the Hagerstown Suns. He has played in 11 of the Suns 12 games in the second half and has reached base safely in 10. The middle infielder owns a .400 on-base percentage through his first 38 plate appearances in the South Atlantic League.
KEEP COOL LIKE CONNELL: Justin Connell has been seeing the ball well in the second half. After his second four-hit performance of the season Friday, the outfielder went 1-for-2 as the left fielder in Sunday's series finale against Delmarva to make him 7-for-11 in this series and 19-for-44 (.432) against the Shorebirds this season. He continued the stretch against Greensboro, going 1-for-4 with a double in last night's opener.
BIG INNINGS BURNING SUNS: The Suns have lost back-to-back games after scoring first against the Shorebirds and Grasshoppers. The Suns entered Sunday's game 21-15 when they score first. The Achilles heel for the Suns in the stretch has been allowing the big inning. Sunday, Chandler Day allowed five runs in the eighth to surrender the lead and yesterday Adon allowed a five-spot in the fifth inning, which put Greensboro in front for the first time in the game. Hagerstown is just 7-27 when they allow five or more runs to score in a game this season.
SHUFFLING THE SHOES: For the second consecutive day, the Washington Nationals made moves affecting the Suns active roster. After both Joan Adon and Drew Mendoza were activated yesterday, today Rafael Bautista moved up from Auburn's roster during his rehab stint and Armond Upshaw has been placed on the injured list. Mendoza opened up his South Atlantic League-career with a pair of doubles and two RBI.
TAP THE PEN: Ryan Tapani has bounced between starting and coming from the pen this season. The righty has now played in 16 games and started five on the bump--matching last season's total. The Creighton-product spun 4.1 innings of scoreless relief last night, setting down four via the strikeout while allowing just two hits. The 4.1 innings pitched is the longest relief outing for a Suns pitcher this season.
DIVISIONAL WOES: This season the Suns have struggled against the Northern Division, posting a 19-38 record against teams in the division. They're currently 2-7 against the Grasshoppers, 5-10 against the Shorebirds, 0-4 against the Power and 5-10 against the BlueClaws.
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