Preview: Only 8 home Hoppers games left

By Josh Feldman / Greensboro Grasshoppers | August 23, 2018 3:59 PM

Greensboro Grasshoppers
23-32 Second Half, 57-67 - Miami Marlins
vs. Delmarva Shorebirds
26-29 Second Half, 61-61 - Baltimore Orioles

Thursday, August 23, 2018 - 7:00 p.m.
First National Bank Field - Greensboro, N.C.
Games #125 of 136
RH Taylor Braley (5-7, 4.26) vs. RH Brenan Hanifee (7-5, 3.02)


Today's Preview: The Grasshoppers (A, Marlins) return to First National Bank Field to open the team's final home stand of the 2018 season beginning with four games against the Shorebirds (A, Orioles). In the team's last home stand, the Hoppers suffered six straight losses and hope to snap that home skid as they face Delmarva at home for the first time since late June. The season-series is tied, 5-5, with the Grasshoppers going 4-3 in Salisbury, Md., and Delmarva is 2-1 in the Gate City.

Hoppers Hurler: Taylor Braley, 22, makes his 16th start of the season and first against Delmarva. He is coming off a hard-luck loss at Greenville on August 17, allowing two runs on nine hits over 7.0 innings with four strikeouts and no walks. It was the second straight loss for Braley. He missed roughly a month of action due to injury this season, pitching for the Hoppers on June 13 vs. Hickory before returning to action again July 24 with a pair of rehab appearances with the GCL Marlins. He rejoined Greensboro on August 5 with 5.0 scoreless innings at Kannapolis to earn a win. Braley is now 1-2 with a 3.00 ERA (6 ER/18.0 IP) and 13 strikeouts in three games (three starts) since returning to the South Atlantic League after he began the season 4-5 with a 4.59 ERA (35 ER/68.2 IP) and 58 strikeouts in 12 games (12 starts) in the first half. The right-hander split last season between the GCL Marlins and Batavia, going 1-2 with a 2.66 ERA (6 ER/20.1 IP) and 22 strikeouts in eight games (three starts). The Marlins selected Braley in the sixth round of the June 2017 First-Year Player Draft out of Southern Mississippi.

Last Time Out (Game 1): The Grasshoppers suffered their second shutout loss of this series, falling 3-0 in seven innings to the Intimidators on Tuesday in Game 1 of a doubleheader at Intimidators Stadium supported by Atrium Health. Greensboro mustered five hits, all singles, to drop the opening contest in the twin bill. Zach Lewis (4-5) earned the win for Kannapolis, striking out eight batters over 7.0 innings to earn a complete-game shutout. He walked two and scattered five hits. Jeremy Ovalle (0-2) took the loss, allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits in 2 and 1/3 relief innings after taking over for starter Edward Cabrera in the third inning. Cabrera worked 2 and 1/3 scoreless innings, striking out two, in a no decision. Kannapolis broke the scoreless tie in the fourth inning when Carlos Perez doubled with one out, and Ramon Beltre singled him in for a 1-0 lead. One inning later, the Intimidators padded their lead on Steele Walker's two-run home run (1). Earlier in this series, Kannapolis shutout Greensboro, 1-0, in a game that began Sunday evening and concluded on Monday.

Last Time Out (Game 2): The Grasshoppers couldn't overcome a pair of Intimidators 2-run innings in a 5-3 loss in seven innings in Game 2 of a doubleheader on Tuesday at Intimidators Stadium. In the bottom of the third, Steele Walker laced a 2-run double to right field, scoring Ramon Beltreand Luis Curbelo for a 2-1 lead. One inning later, Carlos Perez led off with a base hit, and Michael Hickman put both men in scoring position with a double. Ian Dawkins followed with an RBI-single, and Beltre added a sac-fly to make it 4-2 Intimidators. Luis Ledo (7-1) earned the win in relief for Kannapolis, working 3.0 innings and allowing an unearned run on three hits with three strikeouts and two walks. Jose Nin recorded the final three outs for the save (8). Ethan Clark (0-2) suffered the loss, giving up five runs on nine hits over 5.0 innings, striking out six and walking two. Steven Farnworth spun the final inning for Greensboro, striking out one. Jake Elliott opened the game on the mound for the Intimidators, tossing 3.0 innings and striking out five batters while allowing a run on two hits with four walks. Thomas Jones was ejected in the top of the seventh inning after being called out on strikes. The Hoppers designated hitter walked once and scored one of the team's three runs during the game. Jhonny Santos finished 1-for-3 with an RBI and a double for the Grasshoppers.

Home Sweet Home?: The Grasshoppers are hoping to snap a season-long 6-game home losing streak that dates back to the first game of an August 9 doubleheader. Greensboro dropped both games of a twin bill vs. West Virginia before falling in four straight games to Asheville to close the team's previous home stand. The Hoppers had lost a season-long nine straight games before a 7-2 win against the Intimidators earlier this week to snap the skid.

Great Scott: Miami Marlins first round pick Connor Scott drove in both runs for the Grasshoppers on Monday in a 2-0 win over the Intimidators. He led off the game with a home run - the first of his professional career - and later drove in a run on a sacrifice fly. Scott, 18, joined the Grasshoppers on Aug. 7. He has hit safely in his last four games, his longest streak since joining Greensboro.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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