Shorebirds Wallop Hoppers to Clinch First Series

Delmarva scores nine unanswered in middle innings for 13-3 win

(Joey Gardner)

By Will DeBoer / Delmarva Shorebirds | April 18, 2017 10:45 PM ET

SALISBURY, MD - In their largest win by margin of the season, the Delmarva Shorebirds used nine unanswered runs to bury the Greensboro Grasshoppers 13-3 on Tuesday night at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium.

The Shorebirds (6-7) struck early for the second consecutive night, scoring twice in the bottom of the first. Ryan McKenna led off with a walk and went to second on a balk. Chris Clare singed him to third, and Collin Woody's sac fly plated McKenna. Cole Billingsley followed with a single of his own to score Clare and make it 2-0.

The Grasshoppers (7-6) struck back immediately as Branden Berry slashed a two-run homer to left to tie it. Delmarva countered with two more in the bottom of the second as Alejandro Juvier scored on a pair of wild pitches and Jake Ring tallied his league-leading 16th RBI on a two-out single. Justin Twine's sac fly in the top of the third got Greensboro within one at 4-3, but Delmarva would turn on the jets soon after.

Daniel Fajardo cranked his first home run of the season, a leadoff scorcher down the left field line, to lead off the bottom of the fourth inning. In the fifth, the Shorebirds loaded the bases with nobody out, but could only manage one run on Alejandro Juvier's sac fly to make it 6-3.

Delmarva would not waste another opportunity like that, loading the bases again with nobody out in the sixth. Clare rolled a cue ball down the first base line that ate up Colby Lusignan, bringing home a run on an error. Woody followed with a bloop single to left, scoring two. After a lineout and a pitching change, Preston Palmeiro made it a five-spot in the inning, shooting a double over the fist base bag and into the corner to score two and make it 11-3.

The Shorebirds upped their lead into double digits in the bottom of the seventh as Woody and Billingsley notched back-to-back two-out RBI singles.

Woody led the way at the plate for the 'Birds, going 2-for-2 with a run and four RBIs. He was also hit by the pitch twice, upping his SAL-leading total to seven. Clare finished 2-for-4 with an RBI and four runs.

McKenna went 2-for-3 with a double and three runs scored. He saved the game defensively for the Shorebirds with two on in the top of the fourth, robbing Jarett Rindfleisch of extra bases with a dead-sprint, backhanded, over-the-shoulder catch in left center.

Francisco Jiménez (2-0) picked up the win in relief of starter Matthias Dietz, who allowed three runs in a career-best four innings. Jiménez tossed three scoreless no-hit innings, walking two and striking out one. Jake Bray handled the final two innings, allowing one hit and striking out five for the win.

Alex Mateo (0-2) took the loss for Greensboro, his second in as many starts against Delmarva, giving up six runs on seven hits in four-plus innings.

With a series win in their pockets, the Shorebirds go for the series sweep against the Grasshoppers on Wednesday night. Lefty Travis Seabrooke (1-1, 6.35) faces righthander Dustin Beggs (1-1, 3.00). First pitch is 7:05 p.m. with gates opening an hour before first pitch. Wednesday is the first Silver Sluggers game of the season, presented by Coastal Home Care. 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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