Hagerstown Suns: Game Notes
The Suns compete in a rubber match against the Greenville Drive at Municipal Stadium at 7:05 p.m. tonight. RHP Jackson Rutledge (1-0, 3.12 ERA) toes the rubber for the Suns, while Greenville selects RHP Brayan Bello (5-8, 5.79 ERA).
BULLPEN ENDS STREAK IN 5-4 LOSS: The Suns bullpen surrendered four runs in as many innings in a 5-4 loss to the Greenville Drive at Municipal Stadium Wednesday night. Hagerstown (58-70, 28-30) took a 4-2 lead during a three-run sixth that started with a Drew Mendoza walk and a Jacob Rhinesmith single before Kyle Marinconz hit a one-out base knock to load the bases for Cole Daily, who drew a four-pitch walk to tie the game 2-2. Trey Vickers sliced a single to left to plate the next pair for Hagerstown to gain the lead, but the bullpen was unable to hold off the Drive (53-74, 21-36).
MULTI-HIT RHINESMITH: Last night Jacob Rhinesmith had his fourth three-hit game of the season and his seventh game with three or more hits in 2019. The outfielder has seven of Hagerstown's 41 three or more hit games this season.
PINGING THE PEN: Last night when Nick Wells surrendered a run in the top of the sixth with two outs, it ended the bullpen's scoreless innings pitched streak at 18. Prior to that, Joan Adon gave up the last run for the bullpen when he allowed a homer in the sixth inning August 15 at West Virginia. After giving up four earned runs last night, the pen has still allowed just 18 runs in 73.1 innings during August. The 2.21 ERA in the lowest monthly split for the bullpen this season.
WORK HORSES MISSING BATS: Saturday, Tomas Alastre fanned seven batters to reach 106 strikeouts on the year. He became the first Suns pitcher since Jackson Tetreault, who wrung up 118 batters last year, to reach the 100 strikeout plateau. Sunday, Jake Irvin joined the club, fanning two batters to reach 100 on the season. It's the first time Hagerstown has a pair of pitchers with 100 k's since Pedro Encarnacion (113) and Nick Lee (102) hit the mark in 2013.
THE LONGEST ROAD: Reid Schaller has found his home away from home in his last few outings. In his last 15 innings on the road, the Vanderbilt-product has allowed just one run to score and in the mean-time has given up just six hits. Adding to that, he has been able to make a ton of bats miss, recording 16 strikeouts over the last 15 frames and a dizzying career-high eight in his outing Thursday. Schaller was able to keep it going at Municipal Stadium Wednesday, striking out six more while allowing just one earned run.
PLUCKING AT THE HEART STRINGS: The Suns have moved their record to .500 multiple times in the second half. Lacking the ability to go above .500, they have not won a game at .500 despite owning an even record for five games. After Wednesday's loss, the Suns record is 28-30 meaning Hagerstown would need to win back-to-back to reach .500. The Suns currently sit 9.5 games back from first place Delmarva in the second half and would exceed everyone's expectations if they were to overtake them and the five other team's in front of them.
COUNTING IT DOWN: Hagerstown has just 12 games remaining this season, with 8 of them coming at Municipal Stadium. The Suns will give away two more bobbleheads, beginning with a Mike Mussina Hall of Fame Bobblehead August 24. In addition to that, the Suns will also have their final fireworks show August 23 following the game against Delmarva.
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