Hagerstown, MD - Anderson Franco had three hits as the Hagerstown Suns fell 6-3 to the Kannapolis Intimidators in series opener at Historic Municipal Stadium on Friday night. The Suns are 24-38 in the second half and 51-79 overall and will play the second game of the four-game set on Saturday with a 6:05 PM first pitch.
Kannapolis scored two runs in the second inning against Hagerstown starter Tomas Alastre. With two outs, Michael Hickman singled to center and Johan Cruz singled to left to put runners on first and second. Hickman and Cruz advanced on a passed ball and Ramon Beltre singled to left, plating Hickman and Cruz to make it a 2-0 Intimidators lead.
The Intimidators added three runs in the fifth against Alastre. Beltre led off with a double to left-center and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Evan Skoug singled to center to score Beltre, increasing the lead to 3-0. Tyler Frost belted a 399-foot, two-run home run to right to make it a 5-0 Kannapolis lead.
The Suns answered with a run of their own in the bottom of the frame against Intimidators starter Zach Lewis. Phil Caulfield led off with a walk and with two outs Paul Panaccione walked to put runners on first and second. Cole Freeman singled to center to plate Caulfield, making it 5-1.
Kannapolis tallied one run in the seventh against Hagerstown reliever Jared Johnson. Frost led off with a double to right and advanced to third on a passed ball. Luis Curbelo hit a sacrifice fly to center, plating Frost to extend the Intimidators' lead to 6-1. Kannapolis loaded the bases in the inning, but all three runners were stranded as Johnson worked out of trouble.
Hagerstown rallied in the ninth against Kannapolis reliever Luis Ledo. Nick Choruby walked and advanced to second on a wild pitch and third on a passed ball. With one out, Freeman walked to put runners on first and third. Jake Scudder grounded out to second, plating Choruby to cut the Intimidator lead to 6-2 while Freeman advanced to second on the play. Franco singled to right to score Freeman to make it a 6-3 Kannapolis lead. Alex Dunlap hit a fly ball in foul territory to right, but Frost made a diving catch to end the game with the Suns losing their 79th game of the season, 6-3.
Alastre (4-8) spun six innings while allowing five runs (four earned) on eight hits with a walk and three strikeouts. Johnson pitched two innings while giving up one run on one hit, three walks, and four strikeouts. David Smith pitched the ninth inning and allowed one hit with three strikeouts.
Notes: Franco tied a season high in hits with three… It was his 15 multi-hit game of the season… Kameron Esthay extended his hit streak to three games… Dunlap increased his hit streak to three games… Freeman reached base for the 14th-straight game… Armond Upshaw lost an 11-game home hit streak after going 0-for-2… Upshaw was replaced by Panaccione during the game… Hagerstown is 4-6 when they have the same amount of hits as their opponent… Suns have lost five straight… It ties the longest losing-streak of the season… Hagerstown ends the month of August 11-15… They were 6-6 at home and 5-9 on the road in the month… The Suns played their final series-opener of the 2018 season, finishing 15-25 in the first game of a series… Hagerstown will play game two of the four-game series with Kannapolis Saturday night with a 6:05 PM first pitch… The first 1,000 fans through the gate will receive a Brad Peacock Hagerstown Suns Bobblehead presented by Washington County/Hagerstown Convention and Visitors Bureau… The Suns will send RHP Sam Held (5-7, 3.61 ERA) to the mound against Intimidators LHP Matt Portland (0-0, 0.00 ERA)… The broadcast can be heard, starting with the pregame show at 5:55 PM on www.hagerstownsuns.com by going to multimedia tab and clicking on "Listen Live"... The broadcast is also available on the Hagerstown Suns Radio Network in the Tune-In Radio and MiLB First Pitch apps.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.