July 25, 2019–7:10 a.m.
Hagerstown took an early lead against lefty starter Dilmer Mejia and never trailed en route to a 6-1 win over Rome on Wednesday evening. The Braves lineup was unable to solve Suns starting pitcher Jake Irvin who fired 6 scoreless innings against them and allowed only one runner to reach scoring position.
Rome made a handful of defensive mistakes during the night and the Suns made them pay, scoring three unearned runs to push the lead out of reach in the late innings. The Braves only offense came from a 7th inning solo homer by All-Star second baseman Greg Cullen.
Mejia was forced to exit after 4 innings due to an inflated pitch count. He needed 95 pitches to record 12 outs and was ultimately tagged with the loss. He allowed three runs, two earned, on seven hits in 4 frames while striking out five and walking one.
Hagerstown scored two in the 2nd and one in the 3rd to go up 3-0 and Irvin took over. He struck out six Braves and issued no walks and surrendered three singles. After more Suns rallies in the 6th and 7th made it 6-0, Cullen ripped the first pitch he saw from reliever RHP Angel Guillen out to right for a solo home run, making it 6-1 and breathing some life into the ballpark. The good fortune would not last as the Braves were unable to muster any further offense.
Braden Shewmake went 2-4 with a pair of singles. Cullen was 1-3 with a homer, his seventh round-tripper of the season. Justin Dean was 1-4 in the game.
Rome and Hagerstown conclude their three-game series with a rubber match on Thursday evening. Game 3 is scheduled for 7 pm at State Mutual Stadium. Rome starts RHP Alan Rangel (9-5, 4.70) while Hagerstown puts RHP Jackson Rutledge (0-0, 0.00) on the mound.
Rome Braves (17-16, 47-55): 1 R 7 H 3 E
Hagerstown Suns (13-19, 43-59): 6 R 10 H 1 E
W: Jake Irvin (6-7)
L: Dilmer Mejia (5-2)