Suns get a lift from Ramirez

August 23, 2010|By BOB PARASILITI

Now, J.P. Ramirez knows what it's like to win an Oscar.

He was the one who got the honor, but he made sure to thank all the people who helped.

Ramirez drilled a two-run home run to cap a four-run eighth inning and lift the Hagerstown Suns to a come-from-behind 9-7 victory over Lakewood on Sunday at Municipal Stadium.

"It was fun. I'm glad we got the win," Ramirez said. "(Evan) Bronson pitched his butt off, but we fell behind."

He was happy with -- and gladly accepted -- all that went with winning a game by hitting his 15th homer of the season. But Ramirez might not have been in the situation if it weren't for his pregame work in batting practice and the supporting role that center fielder Eury Perez added earlier to set up the whole scene.


It started with a session with his friend "Shag," aka Tony Dahbura, who helps with catching flies and collecting balls during batting practice. Ramirez took time in his practice to hit a number of flies to Duburha in right field.

"I was hitting him pops. It has helped so far. The last time I did it, I hit a home run, too," Ramirez said. "I was hitting the ball on the ground and it helped me get the ball up in the air. Hitting those in practice helped me get the lift."

With the Suns down 7-5 in the eighth, Justino Cuevas hit a one-out single to left off Lakewood reliever Mike Bolsenbroek (0-1), then stole second and scored on Perez's RBI triple to right.

Rick Hague hit a sacrifice fly to score Perez with the tying run before Adrian Sanchez restocked the rally with a single to bring up Ramirez. He hit a shot to right for the go-ahead runs.

"Eury's hit gave me confidence," Ramirez said. "And then, when Sanchie got his hit, it got to me. I got a pitch that was up and put the bat on it."

Ramirez's homer also rewarded the confidence that LeCroy had in his outfielder.

"He had some tough breaks in Delmarva and I thought about sitting him down," LeCroy said. "He came out last night and looked like he was getting it back. I saw a difference in his first at-bat today and knew he was back."

The Suns (60-66) jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first against Lakewood starter Colby Shreve. Hague led off with a homer to left, followed by one-out singles by Ramirez and Destin Hood to set up an RBI grounder by Brett Newsome and a two-run homer by Stephen King.

Lakewood answered with four runs in the second off Bronson, highlighted by a two-run single by Mintken and two-run double by Jonathan Singleton. The BlueClaws took a 5-4 lead in the third as a run scored on Keoni Ruth's double-play grounder.

The Suns tied the game in the fourth on Sanchez's RBI grounder to second.

Lakewood added a single run in the fifth on a Ruth single. The BlueClaws added another run in the eighth off reliever Luis Garcia (3-3) on a single by Mintken for a 7-5 lead.

Cuevas, Hood and Sanchez had three of the Suns' 15 hits.

Bronson lasted five innings, allowing six runs on 10 hits before Garcia came on to allow a run on three hits while striking out five in three innings for the win. Josh Smoker pitched the ninth for his second save.

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