HAGERSTOWN, MD (July 9, 2019) - The Suns scored two runs in the ninth inning but left the bases loaded in their 7-5 loss to the Lexington Legends at Municipal Stadium Tuesday.
Hagerstown (36-53, 6-13) entered the bottom of the ninth trailing 7-3, but loaded the bases with one away againstLegends (44-44, 7-12) reliever Kyle Hinton. Trey Vickers then delivered an RBI single to make it 7-4, and Lexington went to the bullpen. Armond Upshaw followed with an RBI groudout and then Rafael Bautista walked to load the bases again with the tying run at second. But Brandon Marklund (S, 1) struck out Jackson Cluff to end the game. 1
Lexington starter Zach Haake (W, 3-4) gave up those two runs in the second, but recovered to retire the next 12 hitters he faced before leaving the game. Haake also struck out five and allowed only one hit over five innings of work.
Andres Nunez came out of the bullpen in the sixth and continued to roll, tossing 2.2 innings of one run ball. The one run he did allow was a monster home run in the seventh off the bat of Jacob Rhinesmith. The ball traveled 487 feet for Rhinesmith's fifth long ball of the season.
Hagerstown's early scoring came in the second inning on a Justin Connell RBI triple and then a Kyle Marinconz RBI groundout, but the offense went silent for a while after that. Lexington pitching allowed only three hits over the next 6.1 innings and at one point retired 16 Suns hitters in a row before the ninth.
Francys Peguero (L, 2-7) took the ball for the Suns for his first start back from the injured list and settled in after a slow start. After a one-out error, Chris Hudgins took Peguero deep for a two-run homer in the second to give the Legends the lead. The righty allowed one more run in the third when Hudgins again delivered, this time with a two-out RBI single.
Peguero ended up going five inning and allowing two earned runs on five hits while striking out two. Yet again, despite a solid start, the right-hander took the loss.
Justin Miller, who is with the Suns on a Major League rehab assigment, entered the game in the sixth, and the shaky defense continued. With a runner on third and two outs, Marinconz committed an error that allowed the fourth Lexington run to score. Then, after Alex Troop entered for his 2019 Suns debut, the Hagerstown defense allowed an infield pop-up to fall. The blunder gave Jackson Lueck an RBI and brought another run home to make it a 5-2 Lexington lead.
Troop ended up going 3.1 innings in his debut, allowing two runs and striking out two. The first run that was earned to the lefty came across in the eighth on a Jeison Guzman RBI double. Freddy Fermin also got him for an RBI double in the ninth.
Hagerstown continues its series with Lexington tomorrow at 7:05 p.m. RHP Tomas Alastre (3-8, 5.72 ERA) takes the hill for the Suns while RHP Jon Heasley (6-4, 2.72 ERA) gets the ball for the Legends.
The Suns are in the midst of a three-game series against the Lexington Legends July 9-11. The three games are riddled with promotions, including Bark in the Park Night and Thirsty Thursday. For tickets or more information, visit hagerstownsuns.com or call 301-791-6266.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.