GREENSBORO, N.C. (August 29, 2018) -- The Grasshoppers offense sprang to life late in the game but couldn't close the gap in an 8-5 loss in seven innings to the BlueClaws in Game 2 of Wednesday night's doubleheader. Greensboro (23-39 Second Half, 52-74 Overall) suffered a sweep in the doubleheader while dropping its ninth straight game, tying the team's longest losing skid of the season.
Gustavo Armas (3-1) earned the win, tossing 5.0 innings and striking out nine while allowing two runs on three hits with a walk. Taylor Braley (5-9) took the loss, giving up eight runs (six earned) on eight hits including three home runs in 5 and 1/3 innings.
Lakewood scored in five of the game's first six innings to pull away from Greensboro. Jhailyn Ortiz smacked a solo home run (13) in the fifth inning to give the BlueClaws a 3-0 lead. Greensboro tightened the score in the home half of the inning when Jerar Encarnacion walked, and Chris Torres singled, setting up Osborne. The Hoppers catcher stepped to the plate with two men on and no outs and smashed a triple off the wall in left-center field, scoring Encarnacion and Torres to cut the BlueClaws lead to a run, 3-2.
The Northern Division leader rallied in the sixth with two more home runs. Gregori Rivero belted a solo home run (3) to center field, and Dalton Guthrie added a 3-run home run (4) as part of a 4-run frame for an 8-2 advantage.
Greensboro rallied in the bottom of the seventh but mustered just three runs of the six they needed to fully close the gap. Torres and Osborne led off with base hits, and Garivs Lara came through two batters later with triple to drive them both in. Lara scored on a passed ball to pull the Hoppers within three before BlueClaws reliever Tyler Fallwell retired Connor Scott and Thomas Jones to close the game.
The Grasshoppers play their final home game of the 2018 season on Thursday at 7:00 p.m. against Lakewood with gates opening at 6:00 p.m. Tickets are available online at gsohoppers.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.