Suns Sweep 'Birds After Long Layoff
HAGERSTOWN, MD - After a rain-filled three-day layoff, the Delmarva Shorebirds came out flat in their doubleheader against the Hagerstown Suns on Thursday night at Municipal Stadium, dropping the opener 1-0 and the nightcap 5-3.
Gage Canning's solo home run off DL Hall in the bottom of the first was all the offense Tomas Alastre (4-5) needed. Facing the Shorebirds for the fifth time, Alastre hurled six scoreless five-hit innings, walking one and striking out five.
Hall's (2-6) one bad pitch cost him in an otherwise spotless outing. He allowed the one run on just two hits over five innings, walking one and striking out nine, including six in a row to end his start. Through four July starts Hall boasts an 0.79 ERA and 34 strikeouts over 22.2 innings.
Frankie Bartow picked up his second save with a scoreless seventh.
Rallies were few and far between for the Shorebirds, who managed just five singles on the day. Branden Becker notched two of them, going 2-for-3.
Canning finished 2-for-3 with a double and solo home run to account for two of the Suns' three hits. Omar Meregildo singled in the second inning for the only other Hagerstown base knock.
Sam Held (3-5) picked up the win in a spot start for the Suns (12-19, 39-60), allowing three runs (one earned) on five hits over five innings. Cameron Bishop (8-5) took the loss for the Shorebirds (18-14, 53-46), surrendering four runs on four hits over five innings. Jhonathan German earned his first save with two scoreless innings in the sixth and seventh.
After going 18 innings without scoring, Delmarva finally broke through in the top of the third. Kirvin Moesquit laced a two-out double to left, then Mason McCoy singled him home to make it 1-0 Shorebirds.
The Suns countered in a big way in the bottom of the fourth. Armond Upshaw led off with a bunt single and stole second base, then Cole Freeman laid down another bunt hit that put men on first and third. A passed ball allowed Upshaw to score the tying run and Freeman to move up to second, then Jake Scudder singled two batters later to put runners on the corners again. Alex Dunlap lifted the go-ahead sac fly into center, then Meregildo belted a two-run homer to left, making it a four-spot in the inning and a 4-1 Hagerstown lead.
The Shorebirds got a pair back in the top of the fifth. Ben Breazeale led off with a single and got to second on a groundout. Max Hogan then chopped a grounder to first that Meregildo mishandled, putting runners at first and third. Moesquit hit into an RBI fielder's choice, and McCoy belted a double to left center, plating Moesquit to get Delmarva within 4-3.
Hagerstown tacked on one more in the sixth. Freeman beat out a leadoff infield hit, took second on a grounder, and eventually scored when Dunlap muscled a single into left, giving the game its final margin.
Moesquit finished 2-for-3 with a double, two runs, an RBI, and his league-leading 38th stolen base. McCoy went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs.
Dunlap and Meregildo each drove in two runs for the Suns.
Despite the losses, the Shorebirds still won the inaugural Governor's Cup, taking the season series over their in-state rivals 9-8.
The Shorebirds now head to Kannapolis for a three-game set against the Intimidators. Jhon Peluffo (3-5, 6.28) gets the Friday night start for Delmarva against a Kannapolis starter to be announced. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m., and 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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