Managers in the lower levels of the minor leagues try to teach their players that a 140-game season is a marathon, not a sprint.
It's a tough lesson, especially when losses outnumber the wins.
The Hoppers lost their fourth straight game Friday night when Delmarva beat them 8-3. They are 5-17 in the month of August.
"You've got to keep grinding," said manager Todd Pratt. "We battled tonight but we just didn't get the one hit we needed to break the offense open. We saw some good things; the score was not where we wanted it to be."
After being held to two runs on three hits and not leaving any runners on base Thursday, the offense showed more signs of life, getting seven hits and leaving six runners on base.
But the offense primarily came from two hitters. Jhonny Santos had three singles and scored a run and Sam Castro, who entered the game when Chris Torres left with a shoulder injury, had a double and a solo homer.
There was a chance to put some pressure on the Shorebirds in the seventh inning when Castro doubled and Santos singled to lead things off. After J.D. Osborne struck out and Denis Karas popped out, Connor Scott walked to load the bases. But Thomas Jones hit a soft liner to second that was snared by a leaping Branden Becker to end the threat.
Four Greensboro pitchers had an adventurous night. On the plus side, they struck out 15 hitters, with Zach Wolf fanning the side in the ninth. On the minus side, they surrendered 14 hits, including a homer, two triples and two doubles.
Starter Trevor Rogers had a rough second inning, giving up five runs. He snapped back and shut out the Shorebirds the next two innings but gave up another run in the fifth and couldn't complete the inning.
"He threw fastballs on 75 of his 93 pitches," said pitching coach Mark DiFelice, "but he left a couple up that caused problems. I like the fact that he bounced back with two quality innings and kept his composure."
The series continues Saturday at 7 p.m. Colton Hock will be Greensboro's starter.
NOTES: Scott had a single and drew two walks from the leadoff spot … Castro's homer was his first of the season … The Shorebirds have tagged the Hoppers for 27 hits in the first two games of the series … Infielder Marcos Rivera, who fouled a ball off his foot on the Hoppers' road trip, is on the DL and it isn't known if he will return this season.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.