Bill on Baseball:One bad inning sends Hoppers to 7-2 loss

Lankaran from Bill Hass with Bill on Baseball(Greensboro Grasshoppers) at One bad inning sends Hoppers to 7-2 loss

During their stretch of playing good baseball, the Hoppers had stayed away from something that plagued them much of the season — the big inning.

Thursday night it caught up with them.

Augusta put five runs on the board in the top of the seventh inning to break open a close game and go on to a 7-2 victory. The game started 45 minutes late while the field was being prepared after a day-long rain.

“We haven’t had that happen in a long time,” said manager Jorge Hernandez. “We played well through six innings and had a 2-1 lead.”

Jesus Solorzano hit his fifth homer of the season, a solo shot in the fourth to tie the game 1-1. Yordy Cabrera’s RBI single in the sixth put the Hoppers on top.

But in the seventh, reliever Dane Stone issued a leadoff walk and then gave up a double, with the lead runner holding at third. Trevor Brown’s grounder to third base went through Cabrera and two runs scored. If Stone could have held it there at 3-2, the Hoppers would have had a chance. He retired the next two hitters but then gave up another walk, a wild pitch and a two-run double, giving the Jackets a 6-2 lead.

The Hoppers couldn’t do much on offense against Joe Biagini, who pitched seven innings to pick up his fourth win. Greensboro managed seven hits, two by Anthony Gomez.

Wasted was a strong six-inning performance by starter Scott Lyman, who allowed one run one four hits.

The upshot is that the Hoppers still won two of three against a team with a winning record and they have won nine of their last 12. Next they face Kannapolis for single games Friday and Saturday and a doubleheader Sunday.

The Intimidators, who were rained out at Hagerstown Thursday, come in with a 21-36 record, worst in the Northern Division. But they swept a doubleheader from first-place Hagerstown Wednesday. In the second game, an 11-0 win, pitchers Brulio Ortiz, Adam Lopez and Joe Dvorsky combined on a seven-inning no-hitter.

“We don’t take anyone for granted,” Hernandez said. “They had that combined no-hitter, so they must be playing pretty good.”