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Dirty Birds End Lancaster Streak

For the first time in the last 12 home games, the Lancaster Barnstormers came out on the short end.

Alfredo Gonzalez launched two of four Charleston home runs as the Dirty Birds ended Lancaster’s home winning streak at 11 with an 8-4 victory Friday evening at Clipper Magazine Stadium.

The loss dropped Lancaster (8-2) back into a first place tie with Staten Island in the second half.

In the first, Lancaster starter Augie Syly appeared to be out of the inning, but a two-out ground ball by Engel Beltre was bobbled by shortstop Jake Hoover.  Gonzalez followed with a three-run homer as Charleston jumped ahead, 3-0.

Lancaster fought back, with the help of Ryan Lawlor’s wildness.  Shawon Dunston, Jr. walked to open the game for the Barnstormers and took third on a hit-and-run single by Melvin Mercedes.  He would score on a sacrifice fly to left by Andretty Cordero.  Anthony Peroni led off the second with a double to left and took third on a single by Trace Loehr.  A series of three Lawlor wild pitches then produced the two runs to forge a tie.

The Barnstormers would take their only lead of the night in the bottom of the fourth as Loehr and Dunston teamed up with a pair of doubles around a walk to Torrence.  However, the Barnstormers would manage just one hit the rest of the night.

Jose Rosario’s homer onto the right field deck in the fifth tied the game, and the Dirty Birds went ahead to stay in the sixth.  With one out, Gonzalez singled into center off Chase Johnson (2-7).  A passed ball by catcher Anthony Peroni allowed Gonzalez to take second, and he scored on a single to right by Tyler Blaum.  Blaum continued on the bases as the ball skipped by right fielder Anderson Feliz, but a perfect relay cut him down at third.

Nick Heath added a solo shot in the eighth, and Gonzalez capped the scoring with his second homer of the night, a two-run blast off Bret Clarke in the ninth.

Nate Peden (2-1, 2-4) threw two shutout innings to pick up the win.

Lancaster will host Charleston again on Saturday evening with Cameron Gann (4-6) matching up against RHP Gavin Weyman (0-0).  Fireworks will follow the Holidays in July promotion.  Fans may tune into the Barnstormers YouTube channel, starting at 6:10 with a special pre-game interview with manager Ross Peeples.

NOTES:  Melvin Mercedes extended his hitting streak to 13 with his single in the first…Dunston has hit safely in seven in a row…Loehr reached base on six straight appearances before grounding out in the sixth…Sylk filled in for Brooks Hall, whose contract was purchased by the New York Mets following the Thursday night game.