Salisbury, MD –The Delmarva Shorebirds scored nine runs in the first inning and dismantled the Greensboro Grasshoppers 19-2 at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The 19 runs are the most since a 19-run output on July 13, 2009 against the Lexington Legends.
The two through four hitters in the order, Sammie Starr, Jason Esposito and Gabriel Lino combined for 12 RBIs, eight hits and ten runs scored. Starr recorded a career high five RBIs. Lino became the first Shorebirds player to homer twice in one game since Tyler Kolodny hit two against Hagerstown on April 18, 2010.
Greensboro plated a run in the first inning on an RBI single by Terrence Dayleg.
The lead was short-lived as the Shorebirds exploded for nine runs on four hits in the bottom of the first to build a 9-1 lead. Jason Esposito ignited the inning with a two-run single into center field to give the Shorebirds a 2-1 lead. Then, Lino doubled home Esposito to build the lead to 3-1. Connor Narron and Nicky Delmonico drew back-to-back walks later in the inning to load the bases. Two batters later, Mikey Planeta drew a fourth walk of the first to give the Shorebirds a 4-1 lead. John Ruettiger followed with an RBI single. Then, Sammie Starr belted a grand slam home run over the left-center field wall to increase the lead to 9-1. It was his third professional homer.
Lino led off the second inning with a line drive home run over the left-center field, his first of the season.
In the third, Starr lifted a sacrifice fly to left field to score Givens, who started the inning with a single.
The Shorebirds drew three more walks in the sixth inning to grow the lead to 12-2. Grasshoppers pitching issued 12 walks for the game.
In the eighth, the Shorebirds added three more runs. Esposito hit a one out double to score Starr, who also doubled. Then, Gabriel Lino hit a towering home run over the left field wall, his second of the game.
The Shorebirds capped off the day with four more runs in the ninth inning. They batted around for a second time in the game and Connor Narron supplied a two-run ground rule double to right-center field.
Left-handed starter Eduardo Rodriguez earned the win over five innings. He allowed six hits and two runs. Matt Taylor entered in the sixth inning and earned a four-inning save. Taylor surrendered just three hits over four scoreless innings.
The Shorebirds have used just two pitchers in each of the last two games.
The Shorebirds play game one of a three-game series against the Hagerstown Suns on Monday, April 16 at 7:05pm. RHP Miguel Chalas is the scheduled starter for Delmarva.
Orioles top prospect Dylan Bundy is scheduled for game two of the series on Tuesday, April 17