Suns put four on the floor

August 11, 1999

Suns over Alley CatsBy BOB PARASILITI / Staff Writer

photo: MARLA BROSE / staff photographer

The Hagerstown Suns broke a four-game losing streak on Wednesday because Brian Bowles and Justin Davies were able to hit the catcher's mitt.

The only difference was Bowles did it with five outstanding innings of pitching. Davies did it with his bat.

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Bowles, a reliever by trade, shut down the Charleston (W.Va.) Alley Cats on one unearned run in an emergency start and benefited when Davies reached base on a catcher's interference that led to four unearned runs in a 9-1 victory.

Bowles (4-2) got the call to replace Pat Lynch, who was placed on the seven-day disabled list on Monday with a sprained thumb. He responded by allowing four hits and striking out five.


"I felt pretty good about it," Bowles said. "I started sharp but could have been sharper in the last couple of innings. I just tried to go as far as I could until (manager Rolando Pino) pulled me."

Bowles made two quality spot starts for the Suns in their playoff push last season, including a two-hit shutout against Delmarva. This wasn't as dominating, but it helped the Suns avoid losing a season-high fifth straight game.

"Bowles did an outstanding job," Pino said. "He took the bull by the horns and wasn't going to lose. Every team is going to have a situation like this sometime during the season when they need someone to pick up the slack. Bowles did that for us and we finally got some big clutch hits."

The Alley Cats (50-66, 20-24) took a 1-0 lead in the second when Byron Gettis reached first on a throwing error by third baseman Orlando Hudson and came around to score.

The Suns (71-45, 23-22) came back, thanks to the quirky slap of leather by Davies. With two on and two outs, Davies battled Charleston starter Ryan Douglass (0-4) until he took a late swing at a two-strike pitch. The bat ticked Pagan's glove for catcher's interference an error which loaded the bases for the Suns.

"It happened so quick," Davies said. "The ball came in on me and I tried to foul it off. I talked to Pagan my next time up and apologized for it and he said he just reached out for the ball because he didn't think I'd swing. It's a play that rarely happens, but it always seems to happen to me."

Jorge Nunez and Jesse Zepeda followed with a pair of two-out singles to give Bowles a 4-1 lead, not a one-run deficit.

"That gave me the momentum," Bowles said. "I just wanted to go out and shut them down and get us back in the dugout. When the hitting is hot, you want to get the team back to swing the bats as soon as they can."

Hagerstown added two runs in the fifth on an RBI double by Hudson and single by Joe Dusan. Nunez picked up his third RBI with a bases-loaded fielder's choice in the sixth, followed by Tyler Thompson's two-run single for the eight-run lead.

"It just goes to show you that it can take anything to get something started," Pino said. "(The catcher's interference) only happens once in awhile, but it happened today."

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