Late Runs Ice It, Shorebirds Sweep Hoppers

Fajardo notches three hits in 6-1 win

(Joey Gardner)

By Will DeBoer / Delmarva Shorebirds | April 19, 2017 10:33 PM ET

SALISBURY, MD - The Delmarva Shorebirds scored five runs in the final two innings to take the lead and secure a three-game sweep of the Greensboro Grasshoppers, winning 6-1 on Wednesday night at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium.

With the game tied 1-1 in the bottom of the seventh, Chris Clare led off with a double to right center. Cole Billingsley and Preston Palmeiro followed with walks to load the bases. Daniel Fajardo then rolled a swinging bunt between the mound and third base that shortstop Garvis Lara couldn't scoop up with his glove. Everyone was safe and the Shorebirds had a 2-1 lead.

After a fielder's choice at the plate and a pitching change, Ryan McKenna grounded over to third base for a force out, but Palmeiro slid into the plate ahead of the ball for an insurance run. Jake Ring then capped a homestand for the ages by lashing a double to left center, bringing home another to make it 4-1.

The Shorebirds (7-7) added two more in the bottom of the eighth. Collin Woody walked to lead off and Clare singled him to third, then a Billingsley fielder's choice sent Woody home. After a strikeout, Fajardo singled up the middle to bring around Billingsley and give the game its final margin.

Jhon Peluffo (1-0) picked up his first win with 2.1 scoreless one-hit innings out of the bullpen. He walked none and struck out four. L.J. Brewster (1-2) took the loss after giving up all three seventh-inning runs in just a third of a frame.

The teams traded donuts until the bottom of the fourth inning. McKenna was hit by a pitch to lead off and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Ring's flyout to center then sent McKenna to third, and after a strikeout, Woody chopped a grounder to third that ate up Greensboro's Branden Berry, plating McKenna to break the ice, 1-0, without the benefit of a hit.

The Grasshoppers (7-7) tied it in the top of the sixth with a two-out rally. Berry legged out an infield single, then Boo Vazquez lifted a soft liner over first and into the right field corner. Berry scored on Vazquez's triple to tie it 1-1 and set up the big seventh for Delmarva.

Fajardo finished 3-for-4 with two RBIs to lead the Shorebirds, while Clare had two hits and a run. Ring's RBI double up his league lead to eight two-sackers and 17 driven in.

Vazquez and Aaron Knapp each had triples for the Grasshoppers, their only extra-base hits of the night.

Neither starter factored into the decision. Delmarva's Travis Seabrooke lasted 5.2 innings, giving up one run on five hits. Greensboro's Dustin Beggs notched a quality start, allowing an unearned run on one hit in six innings. Zeke McGranahan pitched a scoreless ninth to lock it down for the Shorebirds.

The Shorebirds go back on the road for a four-game set at the Hagerstown Suns. Lefty Alex Wells (1-1, 1.64) opens the set for Delmarva against Hagerstown reliever-turned-starter James Bourque (0-0, 1.13). First pitch is 6:05 p.m., and pregame coverage on Fox Sports AM 960 and the MiLB First Pitch app begins at 5:50 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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