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Garrido's split decision pays off in win for Suns

July 29, 2002|by BOB PARASILITI

bobp@herald-mail.com

Tomas Garrido proved he's a man of conviction.

The Hagerstown Suns' shortstop didn't have time to wait for a voting majority during the eighth inning on Sunday. The time game. It was his move. He made a decision and he stood by it.

And because he was Tomas-on-the-spot, the Suns won by it.

Garrido scored from second base on Francisco D'Jesus' 15-foot dribbler in front of home plate to give the Suns the go-ahead run for a 6-5 victory over the Lexington Legends.

"That was a tremendous instinctual play by Garrido," said Suns manager Mike Ramsey, who coaches at third base. "He went on his own and it was a good situation for him to try. I told him to round (third) base and take a look and he went."

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Garrido, who had just entered the game in the top of the inning as a defensive replacement, broke for third on a steal attempt as Lexington reliever Mike Gallo worked on D'Jesus. The designated hitter topped a ball straight into the ground that rolled just onto the infield grass.

Lexington catcher Reinaldo Ruiz fielded the ball and made the throw to first base to get the out. By the time Ruiz turned to look, Garrido was halfway down the third-base line and beat the return throw to the plate to break a 5-5 tie.

"I was trying to steal third base," Garrido said of his snap decision. "When I checked the catcher and he threw to first, I went for home on my own. I was a little surprised because I thought he would just hold the ball."

The daring move prevented the Suns (13-24, 47-60) from losing after squandering a 5-1 lead.

Branden Florence hit his 11th homer of the season in the first and Hagerstown added four runs in the second on a two-run double by D'Jesus and a two-run homer by Bryan Carter off Lexington's spot starter Travis Anderson.

Suns starter Brion Treadway battled through 5 2/3 innings, only allowing Anthony Acevedo's leadoff homer in the second before tiring in the sixth. Charlton Jimerson hit a two-run double that hugged the left-field line and Ruiz drove in a run with a grounder to short to tighten the game at 5-4.

Treadway was lifted for Brian Burres (4-7), who loaded the bases before escaping to preserve the one-run lead. He stranded a runner at third in the seventh, before giving up the tying run in the eighth on Gavin Wright's broken-bat, RBI single.

Ryan Meaux struck out the side, despite allowing runners to second and third with two outs, for his 17th save for Hagerstown's second straight win over the experienced Legends.

"They are a tough club to beat. We get the lead and they keep coming back at you," Ramsey said. "Our pitchers went out there and battled today. But Tomas had just a snap of a finger to make his decision. It's if you are going to do it, do it. It was a good heads up play. He won the game ... and he only played two innings."

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