Bill on Baseball:Hoppers seek to sustain consistency

from Bill Hass with Bill on Baseball(Greensboro Grasshoppers) at

Hoppers seek to sustain consistency

Buoyed by finding that elusive element known as consistency, the Hoppers return home for seven games starting Tuesday night.

They play three against Augusta, a team from the Southern Division they haven’t seen this season, followed by four games in three days against Kannapolis. They will play the Intimidators in a doubleheader on Sunday to make up an earlier game that was rained out.

The Hoppers went 5-2 on their road trip, sweeping three games from West Virginia and splitting four with Delmarva. Counting the last two games of the previous home stand, they produced their longest winning streak of the season at six straight.

“It was a continuation of what you saw in the last two, really the last three (one was a loss) at home,” said manager Jorge Hernandez. “We were aggressive on the bases, got some clutch hitting, played good defense and the pitching was solid. We’ve had nights when we pitched well and didn’t hit, and nights when we hit but didn’t pitch well. In the winning streak we put everything together.”

Several players were hot during the trip. Jesus Solorzano went 11-for-29 with seven runs scored, five RBIs and five stolen bases.

“He has really responded hitting third in the lineup,” Hernandez said. “He has become more aggressive.”

Yordy Cabrera went 10-for-27 with three homers, eight RBIs and nine runs. Cameron Flynn, in five games, was 9-for-20 with seven RBIs and seven runs. And Anthony Gomez went 9-for-29 with a homer, six runs and three RBIs.

Matt Milroy joined the rotation and got in two starts, a good one against West Virginia and not-so-good against Delmarva. Austin Brice was put in the bullpen for the time being. The alarming thing about Brice is he has issued 17 walks and struck out just four in his last three appearances.

Helpi Reyes was dropped off the roster to make room for Milroy. Hernandez said Reyes has been struggling with his breaking ball command and will work on that while remaining with the team.

Mason Hope will start Tuesday’s game. In his last two starts, both against Delmarva, Hope has pitched 10 shutout innings, allowing five hits while giving up two walks and striking out eight while picking up two wins.