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Meyer keys Suns' eight-run fifth as Suns down Braves

August 10, 2002|by CURT HORNBECKER / Staff Correspondent

Aside from the fifth inning, Robbie Meyer would just as soon forget the entire game.

Meyer squeezed two hits, two RBI, and a pair of runs into an eight-run fifth inning and paced the Hagerstown Suns to a 9-7 win over Southern Division-leading Macon in South Atlantic League play.

Despite the right-fielder's critical contribution in the fifth, striking out in his other two at bats put a damper on his celebration.

"That was my whole game," said Meyer of his fifth-inning outburst. "I feel pretty good, but I guess I'm hard on myself about the two strikeouts. That inning was the key for us. That was pretty much the game."

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With the Braves leading 5-1, Meyer opened the fifth with a single off Macon starter Matt Wright (7-8), took second on a fielder's choice, and scored on a Miguel Miranda single (one of his four hits). A Scoop McDowell double made it 5-3 before Derin McMains was hit by a pitch, and Branden Florence walked to load the bases.

An error off a Tyler Von Schell grounder allowed McDowell and McMains to score, tying the score and putting runners on second and third. After an out, Kevin Alexander loaded the bases with a walk to force Wright's exit. Meyer responded with a two-run double off reliever Nicholas Padilla, and Francisco D'Jesus completed the Suns' scoring with a two-run single.

The rally came after Wright had thwarted Suns hitters by effectively nibbling at the corners. Prior to the fifth, the Suns had just two hits - a scratch single by Miranda and a solo homer from Benavidez in the fourth.

"I don't know if anything was different," said Suns Manager Mike Ramsey. "Sometimes you can't explain those things; just as you get more confident swinging the bat, you hope you can lock in and find some holes."

Petersen Benjamin allowed back-to-back homers in Macon's five-run third, but three Suns relievers limited the Braves to two runs the rest of the way, with Kyle Gross (2-4) picking up the win, and Julio Pavon notching his fourth save.

"We were up 9-5, but it didn't really feel comfortable," Ramsey said. "Our guys came in and battled, and made the pitched when they had to."

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