Suns stay stuck in their rut

July 06, 2002|by BOB PARASILITI

One of those things happened on another one of those days when one of those pitches ended up in one of those spots.

And it ended up being another one of those results Friday night for the Hagerstown Suns.

Walter Young launched Francisco Liriano's last pitch of the night over the right field wall for a two-run home run in the seventh to break a scoreless tie and the Hickory Crawdads to a 5-2 win over the Suns before 4,575 fireworks fans at Municipal Stadium.

The postgame show simply followed another act that flamed out and went up in smoke.

Young's 13th home run started a four-run seventh inning that continued a frustrating trend for the Suns - the inability to get opposing teams out in the final three innings. The loss was Hagerstown's fourth straight and dropped them to 3-13 in the second half.


"It's been one of those things in the last part of the game where we can't shut people down," Suns manager Mike Ramsey. "We debated on whether to let Liriano go out in the seventh, but he still had good pop on the ball. (Young) went up there looking for a pitch in one spot and that's what he got."

Liriano was making his last start before heading to Milwaukee to pitch for the World Team in the All-Star Futures game on Monday.

James Gregg came on and allowed back-to-back doubles to Chris Shelton and Jose Bautista for another run. Bautista stole third base and scored when catcher Keith Anderson threw the ball into left field for the 4-0 lead.

Young doubled and scored on Shelton's single in the eighth as Hickory jumped to a 5-0 advantage. Robbie Meyer's two-run homer in the eighth broke up the shutout.

"We've been giving up big innings late," Ramsey said. "We've been giving up three or four runs at a time. We are trying to do a number of things, but nothing's working. I think (the Suns) are starting to doubt themselves."

The Suns broke the shutout of Hickory starter Pat O'Brien (7-6) in the eighth as Julian Benavidez drew a leadoff walk and trotted home on Robbie Meyer's two-run homer to right.

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