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Alvarez hot, so are Suns

August 08, 2000

Alvarez hot, so are Suns



By BOB PARASILITI / Staff Writer


Jimmy Alvarez was back in his old stomping grounds on Tuesday.

In fact, the Hagerstown Suns second baseman got to visit home three times, just because he was in the neighborhood.

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Alvarez hit a leadoff homer on his way to starting and scoring on three Hagerstown rallies to lift the Suns to a 5-1 victory over the Hickory Crawdads and extend the team's winning streak to a season-high six games.

Be it ever so humble, Alvarez was at home in the No. 1 slot of the Suns' batting order.

"Wherever I have been, I have been a leadoff hitter," Alvarez said through the translation of pitching coach Hector Berrios. "I'm used to it and I'm comfortable there."

The Suns scored all five of their runs against Hickory starter Greg Dukeman in the first four innings. Alvarez started the parade by blasting a 2-2 pitch over the right field wall to give the Suns an unlikely 1-0 lead.

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"When I go up to the plate, I'm not looking to hit it out," Alvarez said. "I try to see the ball, hit it and get on base so I can use my legs to help the team. The home run ... I just had good luck today."

As good luck will have it, Alvarez not only posted starter Tyler Renwick (3-0) to an early lead, he moved Hagerstown (20-24, 54-60) to its second six-game streak this season, matching a run from July 5-12.

"We did a good job getting runners on, moving them to second base and driving them in," Suns manager Rolando Pino said. "We did the little things to win games - we got timely hits and played good defense. On this streak, we have had a lot of timely hits and have played defense."

Hagerstown made it 2-0 in the second when Shannon Carter was hit by a pitch, stole second and scored on a single by Jose Umbria that right fielder Jeremy Harts bobbled. It became 3-0 in the third when Alvarez led off with a double, took third on Brandon Jackson's sacrifice bunt and scored on Shawn Fagan's grounder.

The Suns led 5-0 after four on RBI singles by Jackson and Fagan. Jackson went 2-for-3 to extend his hitting streak to 18 games.

Renwick surrendered Hickory's only run in the fifth on Josh Bonifay's RBI single. Renwick allowed seven hits and struck out four in his six-inning outing. Jerrod Payne got the final out in the ninth for his seventh save.

"(The winning streak) starts with our pitchers getting on a good roll," Alvarez said. "They are pitching well and aren't putting a lot of pressure on us to score a lot of runs to come from behind. That allows us to try and hit the ball where we are supposed to and try to make things happen."

Today

  • Hickory Crawdads
  • Jeff Bennett (10-9, 3.41)

    at Hagerstown Suns

  • Marcos Sandoval (8-8, 4.56)
  • Promotion: Kids run the bases after the game
  • Time: 7
  • Radio: WHAG 1410
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