KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (July 10, 2017) - Jake Burger drove in a career-high four runs but the Intimidators fell to the Hagerstown Sun, 8-5, on Monday night at Intimidators Stadium supported by Carolinas HealthCare System. Kannapolis (8-11 Second Half, 47-40) saw its 4-game winning streak come to an end while missing out on a chance to sweep first place Hagerstown.
Burger, the White Sox first round pick (11th overall) from the June 2017 First-Year Player Draft, finished 3-for-4 with a home run (1) and four RBI to pace the Intimidators offense, but Suns DH Anderson Franco topped Burger by going 2-for-5 with a pair of home runs and six RBI.
Hagerstown took a 2-0 lead on Franco's first home run in the second inning before Burger's bomb to lead off the fourth pulled Kannapolis within a run. Burger has now hit two professional home runs, with his previous blast coming while with the Arizona League White Sox. The Suns added two more runs in the fifth thanks to three straight 2-out hits by Daniel Johnson, Sheldon Neuse, and Jake Noll for a 4-1 lead.
In the seventh, Franco stepped to the plate with two outs and the bases loaded and hit a controversial grand slam to break open the game, 8-1. The ball appeared to hit the top of the outfield wall and bounce back into the field of play, but umpires ruled the ball ricocheted off a billboard beyond the outfield wall.
Kannapolis rallied for four runs of its own in the home half of the seventh. Micker Adolfo drew a bases loaded walk before Burger emptied the base paths with a 3-run bloop single into shallow center field to cut the Suns lead, 8-5.
McKenzie Mills (11-2) earned his lead-leading 11th win for the Suns, allowing five runs on six hits while striking out a career-high 10 batters for the second straight game. He worked 6 and 2/3 innings before turning the ball over to relievers Kyle Simonds and Phil Morse to close the game. Morse notched the save (1).
Blake Hickman (1-4) took the loss for Kannapolis, giving up four runs on six hits over 5.0 innings, striking out three and walking three.
The Intimidators are off on Tuesday before opening a 6-game road trip to Greenville and Columbia on Wednesday. The team returns to Kannapolis on July 19 for a 7-game home stand that features Star Wars Night with post-game fireworks on Saturday, July 22. Tickets are available by calling the F&M Bank Box Office at 704-932-3267 or by visiting IntimidatorsBaseball.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.