Hoppers hit 2 sets of back-to-back HRs in loss
GREENSBORO ― Dariel Lopez went 3-for-4 with two solo home runs to take over the Grasshoppers’ team lead, but Winston-Salem defeated Greensboro 8-4 at First National Bank Field in Sunday afternoon’s series finale. The Hoppers won the series 4-2, but the Dash’s victory Sunday evened the season-long “Battle of I-40”
The Hoppers won the series 4-2, but the Dash’s victory Sunday evened the season-long “Battle of I-40” rivalry at 9-9. Greensboro has won five of the last seven games between the two, but Winston-Salem is 5-2 in one-run games.
Lopez hit his 17th and 18th home runs of the season, passing
All four Hoppers runs came on solo homers, as Greensboro twice hit back-to-back home runs.
Winning pitcher Tommy Sommer (1-1) retired the first nine Hoppers in a row before Francisco Acuña and Lopez hit back-to-back homers to left field in the fourth inning.
But Winston-Salem’s Bryan Ramos hit his second home run of the game, a three-run shot, in the top of the ninth inning to put the game out of reach.
Hoppers starter Nick Garcia (3-3) took the loss. The right-hander cruised through the first three innings, allowing only Ramos’ solo home run. But Garcia couldn’t get out of the fourth, walking two batters before Greensboro native Alsander Womack hit a three-run homer that narrowly cleared the fence in right-center field.
- Third baseman Dariel Lopez, 20, has hit safely in 27 of his last 28 games. He got off to a slow start this season, batting .179 with one homer in April. But in the 67 games since May 1, Lopez is batting .307 (81-for-264) with 17 home runs, 12 doubles and 39 RBIs.
- In the nine games since the All-Star break, Endy Rodriguez is 14-for-30 (.467) with six home runs, 10 walks, 14 runs scored and 11 RBIs, raising his season batting average to .295. Rodriguez walked twice Sunday to extend his on-base streak to 27 consecutive games. The versatile 22-year-old is rated by MLB Pipeline as Pittsburgh's No. 6 prospect, and he has played four positions ― catcher, first base, second base and left field ― this season.
- Sunday’s starter Nick Garcia ranks seventh among qualifiers in the South Atlantic League with a 4.01 ERA. Garcia, who has pitched in 19 games with 17 starts, is one of two pitchers in the league to throw a complete-game shutout this season. He has struck out 81 in 83 innings, and he has held opponents to a .218 batting average.
In his career at the News & Record, journalist Jeff Mills won 10 national and 12 state writing awards from the Associated Press Sports Editors, the Society for Features Journalism, and the N.C. Press Association.