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Ott hits the spot as Suns get win

August 06, 2010|By BOB PARASILITI

Ben Ott took the baton from Garrett Mock and ran with it.

He did it following the same path that Mock carved out the night before.

Ott made his Hagerstown debut on Thursday as a fresh rookie pitching the day after the Washington Nationals starting pitcher's rehab start. He matched Mock and went a little better, firing five innings of one-hit ball while the Suns hit three home runs in an 8-3 victory over the Lexington Legends before 3,031 fans at Municipal Stadium.

Ott charted pitches during Mock's one-hit, three-inning performance on Wednesday and decided to copy what he saw.

"To be honest, I talked a lot to (Mock) yesterday and today," Ott said. "He told me how to approach the hitters and to keep the ball down."

Mock must be sincerely flattered by Ott's imitation.

Ott (1-0) used minimal pitches while working to 16 hitters -- one over the minimum -- over his five innings. He had three strikeouts and only allowed a fourth-inning single to Lexington's Grant Hogue.

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Mock faced 11 batters, allowing one hit and a walk on Wednesday in the Suns' 2-0 victory in his first start since going on the disabled list on April 15 and undergoing neck surgery. Mock threw so few pitches, he finished the night with a bullpen session.

"I stuck with my two-seamer and that's how it worked out in Florida," Ott said. "I was talking with Garrett in Florida while he was down there."

The Suns (51-59, 15-25 second half) gave Ott all the support he needed when J.P. Ramirez led off the bottom of the second with a home run to right -- his 14th of the season -- off Lexington starter Tanner Bushue (5-7).

Ott navigated through the Legends' lineup by just keeping his head and ball down.

"I expected to see some good hitters, who'd hit the ball if I made mistakes," he said. "I just wanted to make them hit the ball into the ground. I got lucky a couple of times when I missed, but the defense really picked me up."

Ramirez's homer gave the Suns the early lead for the third straight game, which led to the third consecutive win over the Legends. The Suns had lost 11 of 13 games beforehand.

The Suns added two runs in the sixth after two outs when Adrian Sanchez singled and trotted home on Justin Bloxom's 11th homer, a shot to right, for a 3-0 lead.

Hagerstown chased Bushue in the seventh, as Brett Newsome's one-out double and Sandy Leon's walk with two outs set up Eury Perez's two-run triple. Dan Sarisky came on in relief and was greeted by an RBI single by Rick Hague and a two-run homer by Sanchez, his first, for the 8-0 lead.

Shane McCatty pitched three innings of one-hit relief for the Suns. Lexington ended a streak of 21 scoreless innings in the ninth against Kyle Morrison on a two-run double by Jacob Goebbert and Kody Hinze's RBI single.

It made for a memorable beginning -- and end -- for Ott's first start. The right-hander was signed as a non-drafted free agent on June 17 after finishing his college career at Cal State Northridge. He made seven appearances, including one start, for the Nationals in the Gulf State League before coming to Hagerstown.

"It's exciting," Ott said. "It's a cool experience pitching in front of stands in a stadium with walls. My whole approach all along was I only wanted a chance. I'm going to work hard every day to make sure I keep it going. Every day is a gift."

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