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Gross pay results in net victory for Suns

May 10, 2002|BY BOB PARASILITI

bobp@herald-mail.com

These have been the times of Kyle Gross' life.

Over the last year, they have been of the trying, rough and bad variety. On Thursday, the Hagerstown Suns' right-handed starter finally received a new shipment of minutes.

"I had a good time," Gross said after his four-inning start in the nightcap of the Suns doubleheader with Greensboro.

It was close to a prime time for Gross, who flashed his best performance in two seasons in Hagerstown with a starting stint that led to a 4-3 victory over the Bats and salvage a doubleheader split. Greensboro won Game 1, 2-1.

"I had surgery in November and I had to fix some problems," Gross said. "(Catcher) Keith Anderson calls a great game and I got comfortable. It was enjoyable."

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Gross, who has had erratic times on the mound for the Suns, controlled Greensboro (18-16) by retiring the Bats in order three of his four innings. The Bats broke through in the second with the help of a walk on Yhency Brazoban's RBI double and Omir Santos' sacrifice fly.

"In the second game, both pitchers did well for me," Suns manager Mike Ramsey said. "This is my first time seeing Gross and he has some quality stuff. ... He has to harness it and get some command and when he does, he will be an interesting guy to watch this summer."

The Suns (15-19) made sure Gross left with the lead.

Julio Cordido hit a leadoff homer off of Greensboro starter Eric Mosley in the second to cut the deficit to 2-1. Hagerstown picked up three runs in the fourth when Branden Florence led off with a single to set up a hit-and-run grounder to second by Cordido.

Second baseman Robinson Cano recovered from breaking to second to field the ball, but lost it when he spun to throw it for an error as Cordido hit the base.

"I was trying to hit the ball to the right for a hit," Cordido said. "He made a good play. We were struggling, but we have been practicing every day and learning to play the game better ... to move runners and make the easy plays."

The error opened the door.

"That was well executed by Julio, but he had better run it out," Ramsey said. "He's been playing really well for us. I've moved him all over the order and he's done it all for us."

Julian Benavidez followed with his 12th double of the year to tie the game. Robbie Meyer hit a sacrifice fly and Anderson had a two-out double for a 4-2 lead.

Alberto Montes (1-3) got the win with three innings of relief. He was especially impressive in the last four outs, after allowing sixth-inning homer to Juan Camacho.

Greensboro won the opener despite a complete-game effort by Ryan Hannaman (2-1).

The Bats scored the winning run in the sixth, as Shelley Duncan drew a two-out walk and stole second before scoring on Tommy Winrow's single.

Greensboro took a 1-0 lead in the second. Hagerstown tied it in the fourth when Miguel Miranda walked and stole second before scoring on a Cordido single.

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