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'Claws' Ruiz makes Suns wheeze again

July 24, 2004

LAKEWOOD, N.J. - Plain and simple, Lakewood defeated the Hagerstown Suns with relative Ruiz.

Randy Ruiz made it look easy against Hagerstown again Friday by hitting a two-run home run in the sixth inning to carry the BlueClaws to a 4-3 victory and a three-game sweep of the Suns.

Ruiz homered in all three games of the series, including a walkoff shot in Wednesday's 3-2 win. The loss was Hagerstown's fourth straight.

Ruiz's homer, his ninth of the season, spelled the beginning of the end for Hagerstown starter Ben Thurmond. Thurmond (4-4) allowed a one-out single to Bryan Hansen before Ruiz's two-run shot gave the BlueClaws (14-14, 45-50) a 4-1 lead.

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Thurmond lasted 5 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on seven hits.

Lakewood took a 1-0 lead in the third on Tim Moss' solo home run.

Hagerstown answered by tying the game in the top of the fourth as Travis Ishikawa led off with an opposite-field triple to left and scored on Jesse Schmidt's grounder to second.

The BlueClaws took a 2-1 lead in the fourth on Carlos Rodriguez's single.

Mike Wagner hit a two-run homer with one out in the ninth to bring Hagerstown to within one run.

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