July 26, 2019–6:00 a.m.
The Rome offense struggled once again in facing the Hagerstown pitching staff and suffered a 2-0 loss in 10 innings, dropping the game and the series to the visiting Suns. The lineup was unable to take advantage of a superb outing from starter RHP Alan Rangel who fired a season-high 7 innings on Thursday night.
The loss drops Rome back to the .500 mark in the second half at 17-17 and puts them two games out of 1st place in the Southern Division.
Rangel continued his surge through the month of July and had his third straight dominant start. He faced the minimum through 4 innings and worked out of jams in the 5th and 6th. Rangel fired 7 scoreless frames while allowing four hits. He struck out eight and did not issue a walk. Rome got excellent relief work from RHP Kasey Kalich. Making his home debut, Kalich pitched two shutout innings and struck out four batters. He surrendered one hit and no walks.
Rome had few chances offensively throughout the night and had a runner reach scoring position only once in the first 9 innings.
The game remained scoreless until the 10th when Hagerstown got two unearned runs off Rome reliever LHP Jake Higginbotham thanks to a pair of errors. In the Bottom of the 10th Rome got a man to third base for the first time but was unable to ignite a rally. The Braves closed the series with one run in their final 19 innings against Suns pitching.
Jeremy Fernandez was 1-3 with a single. Ricardo Rodriguez was 1-4 with a single. Greg Cullen went 0-3 with a walk.
In his last three starts, Rangel has pitched 19.2 innings and allowed two earned runs while striking out 20 batters. He has lowered his ERA from 5.19 to 4.39 during that period.
Rome continues its homestand by welcoming the West Virginia Power to town for a four-game set beginning Friday evening. Game 1 between the Braves and Power is scheduled for 7 pm from State Mutual Stadium. Rome starts LHP Gabriel Noguera (4-4, 3.14) while West Virginia puts LHP Nate Fisher (0-0, 12.46) on the mound.
Rome Braves (17-17, 47-56): 0 R 2 H 3 E
Hagerstown Suns (14-19, 44-59): 2 R 5 H 0 E
W: Ryan Williamson (2-0)
L: Jake Higginbotham (3-4)
S: Jacob Howell (2)