Hoppers Fry Catfish

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Columbus hit the home runs but the Greensboro Grasshoppers found more ways to score Wednesday night. Today’s info from www.gsohoppers.com….Check out the new article on Logan Morrison by Bill Hass, it gives the inside on how Morrison has improved his numbers in 2007.

The Hoppers, back in First Horizon Park after an eight-game road trip, thumped the Catfish 12-6 before 5,010 fans. They scored as many runs in the game as they did in the four-game series against Charleston, where they were swept.

“Everything went down in Charleston – the pitching, the defense and the hitting,” said manager Edwin Rodriguez. “I’m glad to see we regrouped.”

Greg Burns sparked the Hoppers’ offense with two hits, three runs, four RBIs, and three stolen bases. That offset the four home runs the Catfish hit.

After driving in 23 runs all last season, Burns has 47 RBIs this year. Rodriguez said the left-handed Burns is driving the ball more to left field lately.

“I’m letting the ball get deep and picking it up early out of the pitcher’s hand,” said Burns.

Burns said he didn’t know four RBIs was a career high as a professional.

“I’m trying to get my pitch and just put the ball in play with runners in scoring position,” he said.

After the Catfish scored three times in the first inning, the Hoppers struck for five in the second against Wade Townsend, a first-round draft choice by Tampa Bay in 2005 who missed last season after Tommy John surgery.

Chris Hatcher’s bases-loaded single scored one run, a sacrifice fly by Guillermo Martinez brought in another, Burns drove in the third with a single and John Raynor’s two-run triple completed the scoring.

The Hoppers added three more in the fourth, with Spike McDougall’s two-run double the big blow. Burns stole second and third base in the inning.

In the sixth, Burns cleared the bases with the three-run double off left-hander Ryan Owen. He’s now hitting .322 against lefties this season.

Cristhian Martinez picked up his seventh win, although he gave up five runs in five innings. Martinez allowed five hits, four of them home runs. Three were solo shots, two by John Matulia and one by Cesar Suarez. Ryan Royster added a two-run shot, his 20th homer of the season.

Three relievers finished up for the Hoppers, with Chris Leroux throwing two shutout innings and Don Czyz retiring the side in order in the ninth.

The teams play the second game of the series Thursday at 7pm at First Horizon Park.