GREENSBORO, NC - Behind stellar pitching from Luis Perez and big home runs from Ryan Ripken and Ben Breazeale, the Delmarva Shorebirds won their third straight, beating the Greensboro Grasshoppers 7-3 on Saturday night at First National Bank Field.
Perez (4-3) snapped a personal skid for the Shorebirds (29-29, 64-61), matching a career-long with seven innings and allowing three runs on four hits. He walked just one and struck out a career-high eight. Colton Hock (9-7) also went seven innings in a losing effort for the Grasshoppers (24-35, 57-70), surrendering five runs (four earned) on nine hits.
Delmarva manufactured a run to go in front in the second. Jean Carlos Encarnacion reached on a leadoff error, and Ryan Ripken singled to right to move Encarnacion up to third. Trevor Craport then hit into a run-scoring double play, putting the Shorebirds up 1-0.
The Shorebirds scored with a bit more authority in the fourth. Branden Becker led off with a single, and Zach Jarrett took one off the elbow to put two men on. Ripken came up two batters later and parked a three-run homer to right, his seventh of the year, to make it a 4-0 Delmarva lead.
Delmarva tacked on another in the fifth on a Becker RBI single. It was more than enough for Perez, who went through five perfect innings and struck out Denis Karas to begin the sixth. Samuel Castro then coaxed a one-out walk, and Garvis Lara singled to end the no-hit bid. Perez also held the Grasshoppers without a hit through 5.1 innings in a July 22 start in Salisbury.
With two out, Thomas Jones belted a triple halfway up the wall in dead center, scoring both Castro and Lara to get the Grasshoppers on the board and cut the deficit to 5-2. In the seventh, Isael Soto led off with a single and eventually scored on a two-out double from Karas, trimming it to 5-3.
Needing to shore up the flank, Ryan Ripken led off the eighth with a double. After a flyout and strikeout, Ben Breazelae unleashed for a three-run home run off the video board in right center. The two-run blast was Breazeale's third of the year and first since May 11, and it put the Shorebirds back in control at 7-3.
Diogenes Almengo took the baton from Perez in the eighth and hurled two perfect innings, including four straight strikeouts to begin the outing.
Ripken turned in his third multi-hit game of the series, going 3-for-4 with a double, homer, two runs scored, and three RBIs. Breazeale finished with a three-hit game himself, adding a pair of singles and another run in addition to his two-run round-tripper. Becker finished 3-for-5 with a run and RBI.
Jones' two-run triple was the biggest of the Grasshoppers' four hits on the night.
The win assures Delmarva of a four-game series win for the first time since sweeping four from Asheville on April 5-8. The Shorebirds lost their next four-game set and had split their last 10 in a row.
The Shorebirds now go for the series sweep of the Grasshoppers on Sunday afternoon. Delmarva's Jhon Peluffo (4-6, 5.33) squares off agianst Greensboro's Sean Guenther (3-3, 4.75). First pitch is set for 4:00 p.m., and pregame coverage on Fox Sports 960 AM and the MiLB First Pitch App begins at 3:45 with Will DeBoer on the call.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.