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ThunderHeads Win Series over Laredo

August 8, 2015 - American Association (AA) - Amarillo ThunderHeads News Release

There were reasons to believe that somehow things had to go sour for the Amarillo ThunderHeads on Friday night as the game with the Laredo Lemurs got tight in the sixth inning and stayed that way for the final three.

But in the end, the ThunderHeads stayed steady and ended up taking a key series at ThunderHeads Stadium.

Starter Leondy Perez gave the ThunderHeads their second straight solid start on the mound throwing six innings. In the end, it didn't even matter that Perez gave up a three-run home run, as the bullpen took care of the rest for a 4-3 victory.

The game had similarities to the previous evening's 6-3 loss to Laredo, when Matt Larkins threw seven stellar innings but still ended up taking the loss. Amarillo's bullpen also gave up three runs in the loss.

Amarillo (32-39) looked as if it might cruise as well as Perez was throwing for five innings, allowing only two hits. Geraldo Valentin's three-run home run off laredo left-hander Alex Gunn in the bottom of the fourth gave the ThunderHeads a 4-0 lead, and it appeared, plenty of cushion for Perez.

In the bottom of the sixth, though, Perez experienced his only serious hiccup with one out. He gave up a single to Brian Peterson, walked Kevin Taylor, then gave up a three-run homer to Dennis Phipps on the first pitch, and all of a sudden it was only a 4-3 lead.

Perez retired the final two batters to get out of the inning, but didn't return for the seventh. Mark Haynes came on and retired the first two batters, but disaster almost followed.

Ty Forney doubled to right field, then Ty Morrison reached on an infield single to put runners on the corners. Amarillo third baseman Christian Ibarra then fielded Peterson;s grounder but made a poor throw to first, as Peterson was safe.

Inexplicably, though, Forney never broke for home, and the bases were loaded. Haynes escaped the inning by striking out Taylor.

After Haynes set the Lemurs (37-34) down in order in the eighth, Randy Hamrick, who had struggled in previous outings, was called on to close the game.

Hamrick walked Devontrey Richardson, who was sacrificed to second by Juan Silverio. Then with Forney at the plate, Richardson tried to steal third, but Amarillo catcher Jordan Guida threw him out for the second out. Forney then grounded to third to end the game.

The ThunderHeads will remain at home today, opening a three-game series against CanAm starting at 6:05 p.m.

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