Suns Sweep 'Birds Behind Blasts, Pena
SALISBURY, MD - The Delmarva Shorebirds saw their losing streak extend to 12 games on Wednesday night at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium as the Hagerstown Suns pulled out a 3-2 win to secure the three-game sweep.
With the game tied 2-2 in the eighth, Telmito Agustin led off with a solo home run down the right field line, his sixth of the year, to put the Suns (25-19, 63-50) on top. The Shorebirds (20-25, 49-64) had their best chance in the bottom of the ninth as Tanner Kirk poked a one-out single into left center. Reliever Carlos Pena would buckle down, though, striking out Gerrion Grim and Cole Billingsley to ice it.
Pena (6-4) continued his mastery of Delmarva, winning in relief with 3.2 scoreless one-hit innings and eight strikeouts. Pena is 4-1 against the Shorebirds in six appearances this year; against the rest of the SAL, his ERA stands at 7.05.
Kory Groves (2-6) took the loss for the 'Birds after surrendering the Agustin homer. That was the only run he gave up in three innings of relief.
For the third straight game, Delmarva scored first in the early innings. Cole Billingsley led off the first by banging a double off the wall in the right field corner. Two straight wild pitches from starter Brigham Hill allowed Billingsley to cross with the opening salvo.
Aldrem Corredor led off the fourth with a single, and Jake Noll belted a line drive over the secondary ad wall in deep left center. The 414-foot blast was Noll's 15th round-tripper of the season and gave Hagerstown a 2-1 lead.
Delmarva drew even and threatened further in the bottom of the sixth. Jake Ring dropped a double down the left field line, his SAL-best 31st of the season. Preston Palmerio struck out, and another wild pitch from Hill moved Ring up to third. Alejandro Juvier then poked a line drive through the drawn-in infield and into left, scoring Ring to tie the game.
Milton Ramos and Frank Crinella followed with singles of their own, loading the bases and chasing Hill from the game. Pena came in and provided a sign of things to come, striking out Kirk and Daniel Fajardo to put out the fire.
Billingsley and Ring both had a double and a run to pace the Shorebird attack.
Agustin and Noll left the yard to give the Suns their 93rd and 94th home runs of the season, good for third in the league behind Asheville and Lexington.
Jhon Peluffo had one of his best starts of the season in a no-decision for Delmarva. Peluffo went six innings for his second straight start, allowing two runs on four hits while walking two and striking out four.
Hill did not factor into the decision in his second start for Hagerstown, giving up two runs on seven hits in 5.1 frames.
The Shorebirds out-hit the Suns in every game of the series, including 8-to-5 on Wednesday and 33-to-24 in the trio. With Hagerstown's final visit to Salisbury in the books, Delmarva finishes 3-11 at home against the Suns.
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