GREENSBORO, N.C. - The Hagerstown Suns (41-22) dropped the final three games of a four-game series against the Greensboro Grasshoppers (37-26), including a 5-4 loss in the series finale on Sunday evening. The Suns now sit four games ahead of Greensboro in the South Atlantic League Northern Division standings, with seven games remaining for each team in the first half of the season.
The Suns rallied from a 4-0 deficit on Sunday to tie the game at 4-4 in the eighth, but Greensboro responded by plating the winning run in the bottom of the eighth. Left fielder Juan Avila drove in that winning run with a sacrifice, and RHP Sean Donatello kept Hagerstown off the board in the ninth for his ninth save of the year. RHP Tyler Kinley (2-0) got the win for the Grasshoppers despite blowing a save opportunity. He allowed three earned runs on two hits and one walk in one inning of work. LHP Jake Walsh (0-2) suffered the loss for the Suns. He pitched one inning and gave up one earned run on one hit and one walk.
On Saturday night in the third game of the series Greensboro scored at least one run in five consecutive innings, including a six-run fifth and a four-run sixth, to blow out the Suns 15-5. The Grasshoppers belted three homers in the game, which led to seven of their runs. Hagerstown starting LHP Hector Silvestre (2-3) gave up two of those homers in 4.1 innings, as he suffered the loss for the Suns. Silvestre was charged for allowing eight earned runs on seven hits and two walks. RHP C.J. Robinson (4-1) earned the win for Greensboro. He threw three innings in relief without allowing a run, giving up just two hits while striking out two.
Hagerstown suffered another one-run loss in game two of the series on Friday night. In a back-and-forth game the Grasshoppers took the lead for good in the bottom of the seventh on a sacrifice fly by CF Yefri Perez, and Greensboro hung on to win 8-7. RHP Tyler Kinley (1-0) picked up the win for the Grasshoppers in his second appearance of the season. He threw 1.2 innings in relief without allowing a run or a hit. LHP Joseph Webb (1-1) suffered the loss for the Suns. He threw 2.1 innings in relief, giving up one earned run on three hits and one walk. Donatello pitched a scoreless ninth for Greensboro to record his eighth save of the season.
The lone Suns victory came in the first game of the series on Thursday night, when Hagerstown used three multi-run innings to roll to a 9-4 win. The Suns broke a 2-2 tie and took the lead for good by plating four runs in the fifth. Hagerstown sent eight hitters to the plate in the inning, and the biggest hit came from 3B Drew Ward, who drove in two runs on a two-out double to right. RHP Ryan Ullmann (2-0) tossed 3.2 innings in relief, giving up two runs (one earned) on three hits and three walks to earn the win. Starting RHP Domingo German (5-2) got tagged with the loss for Greensboro. He went 4.2 innings, surrendering six runs (one earned) on seven hits and one walk while striking out four.
In total Greensboro outscored Hagerstown 32-25 over the course of the series, and the Grasshoppers out-hit the Suns 43-39. The Suns next head to Lakewood, New Jersey to begin a three-game series with the Lakewood BlueClaws (25-37) that starts on Monday, June 9. RHP Lucas Giolito (2-0) will make his ninth start of the season for Hagerstown. He will match up against RHP Ranfi Casimiro (2-5) for Lakewood. First pitch on Monday is scheduled for 7:05pm.