HAGERSTOWN, MD - The Hagerstown Suns (29-18, 73-44) scored seven runs in the first four innings on Thursday night to cruise to an 8-1 win over the Kannapolis Intimidators (24-23, 53-61). With the win Hagerstown improved its record on Thursday nights this season to 16-3.
The Hagerstown attack began in the second, when three consecutive doubles started the inning. The doubles were hit by catcher Spencer Kieboom, 3B Drew Ward, and 1B Carlos Lopez, resulting in two runs crossing the plate.
Four more runs came across the dish the next inning. With the bases loaded and two outs, Lopez drew a walk to force in a run and make it 3-0. Then, DH Jimmy Yezzo sent a line drive double to right, which cleared the bases and made it 6-0.
The Suns fifth double of the night made it 7-0 in the fourth. With one out and a runner at third, SS Wilmer Difo hit a fly ball into the left field corner. It wound up being his 26th double of the season, resulting in his team-leading 76th RBI.
The score remained 7-0 until the eighth, when a two-out single by CF Rafael Bautista brought home Lopez from third for Hagerstown's final run of the game. Yezzo tried to score from second on the play, but was gunned down at the plate to end the inning. Kannapolis got its lone run in the ninth thanks to a solo homerun by 1B Danny Hayes, his team-leading 11th.
Starting RHP Reynaldo Lopez (2-1) spun six scoreless innings for the Suns to earn the win. He has now tossed 17 scoreless innings over three outings since returning to the Suns roster after getting promoted from short-season Auburn. Lopez allowed just three baserunners over his six innings of work on Thursday, giving up one hit and walking two while striking out four. Starting LHP Jeffrey McKenzie (2-4) suffered the loss for the Intimidators. He threw 3.1 innings, giving up seven earned runs on eight hits and three walks while striking out one.
These two teams continue their four-game series at Municipal Stadium on Friday August 8. The Suns will send RHP Nick Pivetta (12-7) to the mound for his 21st start and 22nd appearance of the year. He will square off against LHP Chris Freudenberg (1-0) for Kannapolis. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm.