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Braves, James gang up on Suns

May 14, 2004

It almost didn't seem fair.Wins have been hard to come by for Hagerstown these days as it is and then Rome goes out on Thursday and starts the pitcher with the best earned run average in the South Atlantic League against the Suns.

Left-hander Chuck James handcuffed the Suns with one run on two hits over seven innings while the Braves pounded out 17 hits in a convincing 11-3 victory before 2,480 fans at Municipal Stadium.

James' only mistake was a fourth-inning home run to Jonathan Armitage. After the blast, James retired the last 10 Suns he faced to lower his ERA to 1.16.

With James' help, the Braves (16-17) made it look easy as they won the four-game season series, three games to one. Eight of their 17 hits were doubles and 10 went for extra bases.

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The Braves got to Suns starter Kelyn Acosta (1-3), scoring five runs on 10 hits in his five innings. Acosta allowed at least one hit in each inning.

Rome was paced by Steve Pyzik, a Mt. Airy, Md., native, who had four hits - including two doubles - three RBI and scored three runs.

Leadoff hitter Josh Burrus had four hits and drove in two runs. Rome scored two runs in the second, fifth and eighth inning and capped the rout with four runs in the ninth off reliever Bill Musgrave.

Hagerstown (13-21) cut the deficit to 7-3 in the eighth, capped by Derek Burrows' RBI single. The Suns lost for the sixth time in the last seven games.

Hagerstown committed two errors in the game, giving it 13 miscues in the last six games. Eleven of the last 28 runs scored by Suns opponents are unearned.

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