SALISBURY, Md.- The Delmarva Shorebirds battled back on Monday night, but the early deficit was too much to overcome in a 13-7 defeat to the Hagerstown Suns. Delmarva (60-60) surrendered seven runs in the first inning and never fully recovered in the series opener loss.
The potent Suns' lineup jumped all over Luis Gonzalez from the opening moments. Rafael Bautista belted a leadoff home run to kickstart Hagerstown. Wilman Rodriguez later blasted his own three-run home run. Gonzalez gave up seven runs on eight hits while only recording two outs.
Lucas Giolito shut down the Shorebirds through the first five innings. The right-hander allowed just two hits and two walks in five shutout frames. Delmarva took advantage when Hagerstown finally went to the bullpen. Jeff Kemp crushed a two-run home run in the sixth inning off Andrew Cooper. Conor Bierfeldt followed with an RBI single up the middle.
The Shorebirds fought back with four more runs in the seventh inning. Creede Simpson delivered an RBI single, and Austin Wynns belted a bases-clearing double to cut the Suns' lead down to 11-7. The comeback halted there as Justin Thomas put on the clamps in relief.
Nick Cunningham pitched in well in relief for Delmarva. The right-hander was thrust into the first inning when Gonzalez faltered, and Cunningham ended up allowing just one run on three hits in 4 1/3 innings. Giolito earned the win for Hagerstown, his seventh consecutive winning decision. Gonzalez took the loss, his second straight defeat in August after being named Orioles' Pitcher of the Month in July.
The Shorebirds and Suns continue their series with the middle game on Tuesday. Left-hander Mitch Horacek (5-10, 3.98) starts for Delmarva, while Hagerstown has yet to announce a probable starter. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at Perdue Stadium.