Streak Ends as 'Hoppers Bludgeon 'Birds
GREENSBORO, NC - The Delmarva Shorebirds saw their luck run out at the hands of four Greensboro Grasshopper home runs, falling 8-4 and snapping a 10-game winning streak on Saturday night at First National Bank Field.
The Shorebirds (12-2) finish one game shy of matching the 2011 ballclub's 11-game winning streak, the longest in team history since modern minor league recordkeeping began in 2005. Delmarva also falls one game short of matching the original 1996 Shorebirds' 13-1 start to the year.
Steven Jennings (1-2) earned the win for the Grasshoppers (8-8) after allowing two runs on four hits over five innings, walking two and striking out four. Gray Fenter (1-1) took the loss for the Shorebirds, surrendering six runs (four earned) on six hits in 2.2 frames.
Originally scheduled as a doubleheader following Friday's rainout, further rain forced a 95-minute delay to the start of the first game. By that point, the teams decided to scrap the nightcap in favor of one nine-inning game and make up the extra contest when the Shorebirds return to Greensboro on May 14-16. Delmarva will end up playing nine games in seven days on that road trip, as they already have a twin bill scheduled in Kannapolis on May 18.
When the game finally began, the Grasshoppers threatened to open up the skies again in the bottom of the second. Fabricio Macias belted a leadoff solo home run to dead center to open the scoring. After two quick outs, Lolo Sanchez hit one back to the mound, but Fenter's throw to first sailed high and Sanchez ended up at second. Connor Kaiser followed with an RBI single into center, and Mason Martin smashed a two-run homer to left center, making it a four-run inning and a 4-0 Greensboro lead.
Delmarva responded by cutting the deficit in half in the third. Seamus Curran led off with a walk, and Cadyn Grenier doubled him to third two batters later. Robert Neustrom followed with a Baltimore chop to third base for an infield single, scoring Curran. Adam Hall then sliced a grounder through the right side to bring in Grenier and get the Shorebirds within 4-2.
Greensboro wasted no time getting those runs back as Patrick Dorrian cracked an opposite-field two-run bomb to left in the home third. In the fourth it was Brett Kinneman's turn, and he took Delmarva reliever Matt Hammonds deep down the right field line for a solo shot, the Grasshoppers' fourth blast of the game, to put the home side up 7-2.
Doran Turchin drove in a run for the Shorebirds in the top of the sixth with a two-out RBI single. The Grasshoppers got that back in the eighth as Sanchez tripled and Kaiser singled him in. Delmarva got a gift run in the ninth as Joe Jaques walked the bases loaded and Grenier legged out an RBI fielder's choice to make it 8-4. With two down and men on the corners, Neustrom made good contact but lined out to short, bringing the winning streak to an unceremonious end.
Grenier finished 2-for-5 with a double, run, and RBI for the Shorebirds. Neustrom, Hall, and Turchin each picked up an RBI.
Sanchez finished a homer shy of the cycle for the Grasshoppers, going 3-for-5 with a double, triple, and two runs. Kaiser, Martin, and Dorrian each notched two RBIs.
Drew Rom, Fenter's tandem pitcher and the scheduled starter for the would-be nightcap, pitched the final four innings in relief for the Shorebirds. The Orioles' No. 28 prospect allowed one run on four hits, walking none and striking out six.
After a scheduled off day on Easter Sunday, the Shorebirds open a seven-game homestand with the first of three against the Asheville Tourists on Monday night. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. with gates opening at 6:00. Monday at Perdue Stadium is 47 ABC $3 Buck Monday presented by Wicomico Heating & Air. Pregame coverage on Fox Sports 960 AM and the MiLB First Pitch App begins at 6:50 with Will DeBoer on the call.
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