K-Town Solves Rodriguez, Bashes 'Birds
KANNAPOLIS, NC - The Kannapolis Intimidators did what nobody else in the South Atlantic League has been able to do this season: solve the Grayson Rodriguez riddle. In doing so they bashed the Delmarva Shorebirds 9-0 on Tuesday night at Intimidators Stadium.
Jonathan Stiever (4-4) exacted revenge in a dominant outing for the Intimidators (26-32), scattering four hits across seven scoreless innings with no walks and seven strikeouts, spearheading just the third shutout the Shorebirds (43-14) have endured this season. Rodriguez (6-1) suffered his first of the season, giving up seven runs on eight hits in five innings with no walks and five punchouts. The seven earned runs matches the total Rodriguez, today named an SAL All-Star, had given up in his previous eight starts combined.
The trouble started in the bottom of the third when Corey Zangari slashed a leadoff double down the left field line. Luis Curbelo then sliced a single through the right side, putting men on the corners with nobody out. After two quick popouts, Rodriguez hit Lenyn Sosa on the elbow to load the bases. That brought up Alex Destino, who chipped a single into center, scoring Zangari and Curbelo. Romy Gonzalez followed by clubbing a two-run double to right center, putting the Intimidators on top 4-0.
Kannapolis caught lightning in a bottle again in the fourth. This time Gunnar Troutwine doubled to leadoff. Rodriguez again got two quick outs, but Ramon Beltre hit a slow roller that skipped into left for a single, and Robbie Thorburn's error in left let Troutwine score to make it 5-0. Ian Dawkins then beat out an infield single, and Rodriguez threw wild to the plate to let Beltre score. Lenyn Sosa finished off the rally with a single to score Dawkins, and the Intimidators went up 7-0.
Bryce Bush led off the eighth with a solo home run, then Troutwine legged out a double and scored on a two-out error to give the game its final margin.
J.B. Olson relieved Stiever and finished off a hitless eighth and ninth for Kannapolis, who wrapped up just their second win in 12 tries against Delmarva in a neat 2:07, making it the Shorebirds' shortest game of the year.
The Shorebirds managed just four hits on the night. Adam Hall picked up all but one of them, going 3-for-3 with a double and a hit batsman. Daniel Fajardo also managed a double.
Destino and Gonzalez each drove in two runs for the Intimidators, while Troutwine finished 2-for-4 with two doubles and two runs.
With Greensboro's 8-1 win over Charleston, Delmarva sees its Northern Division lead slide back to five games with 12 to go before the end of the first half; the Shorebirds' Magic Number to clinch remains at eight.
The Shorebirds look to rebound in the Wednesday night finale, the final regular season game they will ever play at Intimidators Stadium. Gray Fenter (4-1, 2.34) and All-Star Drew Rom (4-0, 1.49) are set to work in tandem for Delmarva against Kannapolis All-Star Johan Dominguez (2-2, 1.61). First pitch is set for 7:00 p.m., and pregame coverage on Fox Sports 960 AM and the MiLB First Pitch App begins at 6:45 with Will DeBoer on the call.
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