Clare, Ring Lead Shorebirds in Series-Opening Win

Four-run sixth lifts 'Birds, 9-5

(Joey Gardner)

By Will DeBoer / Delmarva Shorebirds | April 17, 2017 11:31 PM ET

SALISBURY, MD - The Delmarva Shorebirds scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth, all with two outs, on the way to a 9-5 win over the Greensboro Grasshoppers on Monday night at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium.

With the game tied at 4-4 in the bottom of the sixth, Chris Clare and Alejandro Juvier led off with singles for the Shorebirds (5-7). After a strikeout and flyout, Ryan McKenna slashed a single to left to score Clare. Jake Ring followed with a groundball through the right side to plate Juvier. On the next pitch, Chris Shaw belted a double that one-hopped the wall in left center, scoring two more and giving Delmarva an 8-4 lead.

The Grasshoppers (7-5) got one back in the top of the seventh. Garvis Lara led off with a walk and Aaron Knapp took his place on a fielder's choice. After a strikeout, Dalton Wheat beat out an infield single, sending Knapp to third. Colby Lusignan hit a comebacker, but Woody at first base dropped the throw and Knapp came in to score, making it 8-5 Shorebirds.

Delmarva pushed the lead back to four in the bottom of the eighth as Clare rolled a two-out single to left that deflected off the third baseman and shortstop, allowing Ring to score from second and give the game its final margin. Pitcher Kory Groves then worked around a single and walk in the top of the ninth, inducing a 4-6-3 double play to end the game.

Steven Klimek (1-0) earned his first win in relief, allowing two runs (one earned) on two hits in the sixth and seventh frames. Travis Neubeck (0-1) took the loss after giving up the four-spot in the sixth.

The Shorebirds jumped in front in the bottom of the first inning. With two outs and Ring second, Collin Woody dropped a single to right to bring him around. Cole Billingsley singled to put two on, and Clare scrapped a base hit to bring Woody around and make it 2-0.

Delmarva added another in the third as Billingsley singled with two outs, stole second, and scored on a Clare single to center.

Greensboro got all three back in the top of the fourth. Wheat legged out an infield single, and Lusignan blasted a ball deep to center that deflected off a sprinting McKenna, scoring Wheat. Branden Berry's base hit scored Lusignan, then after another single and a sac bunt, Corey Bird hit a comebacker that deflected to short for an infield single, scoring Berry to tie the game.

Ring gave the Shorebirds another lead in the bottom of the fifth with a towering home run down the right field line, the first Perdue Stadium round-tripper for Delmarva this year. Jarett Rindfleisch responded for the Grasshoppers in the sixth with a line drive homer to left, setting up the big bottom of the frame for the home side.

Clare led the way at the plate for the 'Birds, going 5-for-5 with a run and three RBIs. Fresh off a South Atlantic League Player of the Week nod, Ring went 2-for-3 with a homer, two RBIs, four runs, and a stolen base. Billingsley and Juvier each had two hits.

Wheat finished 3-for-4 with a run to lead the Grasshoppers.

Neither starter factored into the decision. Delmarva's Zach Muckinhirn gave up three runs on six hits in five innings, walking his first two of the year and striking out two. Jordan Holloway went five innings of four-run, seven hit ball for the Grasshoppers.

The Shorebirds and Grasshoppers play game two of three at Perdue Stadium on Tueday night. Matthias Dietz (0-1, 15.88) will start for Delmarva against Greensboro's Alex Mateo (0-1, 7.45). First pitch is 7:05 p.m. with gates opening an hour before first pitch. Tuesday is McDonald's Two for Tuesday, featuring buy one, get one free upper reserved seats with the presentation of a McDonald's receipt. Pregame coverage on Fox Sports AM 960 and the MiLB First Pitch app begins at 6:50 p.m. with Will DeBoer on the call.

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

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