Suns routed again

April 26, 2002|BY BOB PARASILITI

On Wednesday, the Hagerstown Suns had one of those games manager Mike Ramsey hoped "they got it out of their system all at one time." On Thursday, the Suns had some lingering effects or a full-blown epidemic.

A day after scoring 12 runs, the Asheville Tourists took full advantage of the Suns' hospitality by scoring in five of the first six innings en route to a 17-5 rout at Municipal Stadium.

Asheville (11-10) took advantage of some generous pitching and leaky defense to blow open a 5-5 game with three runs in the fourth and nine runs in the sixth.


"We had some fight in us ... we came back to tie it," Ramsey said. "But then they came right back and scored three. That took some of the wind from our sails."

The Tourists battered starter Peterson Benjamin (1-3) for two runs in the first, one in the second and two more in the third, with the help of three Hagerstown errors. Only Keith Anderson's second-inning sacrifice fly kept the Suns in the game at 5-1.

Hagerstown (10-11) showed all of its fight in bottom of the third on a pair of two-run home runs by Bryan Carter and Tyler Von Schell off Asheville starter Charles Merricks (2-1) to knot the game at 5-5.

Asheville answered with RBI doubles by Casey Lambert, Nick Gretz and Ashley Freeman in the fourth.

"They pounded us for two days," Ramsey said. "We didn't pitch inside and work the inside of the plate. Obviously, giving up 29 runs in two days, we didn't do the job."

Asheville scored nine off Leiby Guzman in the sixth, capped by Bryan Peck's three-run homer.

The Suns were forced to mix and match a lineup because of injuries and illness. Third baseman Julian Benavidez (ill) and shortstop Leonel Cabrera (sore wrist) to go along with Derin McMains (knee injury). Julio Cordido was forced to play second and catcher Keith Anderson played third.

After the game, Ramsey announced the MRI on McMains' knee injury showed just a sprain that will sideline him from 4-to-6 weeks. Meanwhile, pitcher Francisco Liriano was placed on the seven-day disabled list with a tender elbow and Matt Huntingford was sent to extended spring training.

They will be replaced by infielder Kevin Alexander, pitcher Ryan Gross and outfielder Brandon Florence. Alexander and Gross played for the Suns last season.

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