Greensboro, NC-The Hagerstown Suns (1-0) doubled up the Greensboro Grasshoppers (0-1) by a score of 6-3 on Thursday night at NewBridge Bank Park in the series opening contest. The Suns won their third game against the 'hoppers in 2011 on the strength of a pair of home runs from CF Michael Taylor and SS Jason Martinson, along with a good balance of pitching.
The Suns tallied one run in the 2nd stanza on back-to-back doubles by LF Wade Moore and Taylor, who fell a single shy of the cycle during a 3-for-4, two-RBI game.
Suns LHP Matt Grace (8-5), the winning pitcher of record, went 6.0 innings and allowed three earned runs on five hits, while walking one and fanning six.
The see-saw ballgame was tied by Greensboro on an RBI sacrifice fly to left center field off the bat of 2B Noah Perio in the 3rd inning, scoring CF Isaac Galloway, who led off with a double to the left field corner.
Both teams scored individual runs in the their respective halves of the 5th and 6th innings. Taylor launched his sixth home run of the season over the right center field wall, as did Martinson, almost to the same spot a frame later. Greensboro earned an RBI single from SS Daniel Black and an RBI one-base knock from DH Wilfredo Gimenez.
Greensboro RHP Kevin Cravey (0-1), despite allowing two unearned runs and not surrendering a base hit, was the losing pitcher of record.
The Suns collected their go-ahead and insurance runs in the 7th inning on an error by Black and an RBI single by C David Freitas into left field.
In the 9th inning, after a triple from Taylor that ricocheted off the right center field wall, 3B Blake Kelso lofted an RBI sacrifice fly to left field.
LHP Chris Manno (9 SV) pitched a perfect bottom of the 9th inning to earn his ninth save.
The Suns will be hosted by the Grasshoppers for a 7:05pm first pitch on Friday night. The radio flagship of the Hagerstown Suns, WJEJ AM 1240, will provide wall-to-wall radio coverage beginning with a 6:50pm Break Away 2 Sports Lounge Pre-game Show. The Suns will send RHP Taylor Jordan (7-3, 2.86) to face Greensboro RHP Jheyson Manzueta (2-5, 5.93).
The Hagerstown Suns play at Municipal Stadium in Hagerstown, MD and are a Class "A" affiliate of the Washington Nationals. Season ticket packages, group outings, and corporate sponsorships are available by calling the Suns at 301-791-6266. Visit the Suns on the web at www.hagerstownsuns.com. The Suns are owned by Hagerstown Baseball, LLC.
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.