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Wang sharp in Suns' win

May 04, 2012|By BOB PARASILITI | bobp@herald-mail.com
  • Chien-Ming Wang, a Washington Nationals pitcher making a rehab start with the Hagerstown Suns, delivers a pitch against the Rome Braves on Friday night at Municipal Stadium.
By Ric Dugan/Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN — Chien-Ming Wang can only hope his regular-season outings with the Washington Nationals are all as effective as his rehabilitation outing with the Hagerstown Suns.

The Nationals pitcher returned to Hagerstown to work out the kinks from his recovery from a hamstring injury and looked like he was never injured, as he was in total control for six innings to lead the Suns to a 10-2 victory over the Rome Braves before 1,221 fans at Municipal Stadium.

The right-hander struck out seven and threw 65 pitches — 45 for strikes. He allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits and a walk.

The Suns (15-11) competed a three-game sweep of the Braves (6-21).

Wang came to the Nationals’ Single-A affiliate to start his path back to Washington to battle for a spot on the Nationals’ vastly improved pitching staff.

He showed little rust, retiring the first 10 Braves he faced, including five of the first six by strikeout. Brandon Drury broke up the no-hitter with a one-out single to center in the fourth.

The Braves scored on Cory Brownsten’s solo homer to center in the fifth and added an unearned run in the sixth.

The Suns have won 6 of 7 over the Braves in the last two weeks, outscoring Rome 73-25.

J.P. Ramirez led the Suns with four hits and four RBIs to finish the series 8-for-14 with five RBIs. Adrian Nieto added a two-run home run.

The Suns took a 3-0 lead in the third against Rome starter Navery Moore (1-1), thanks to Ramirez.

Justin Martinson started the rally with a one-out single before Matt Skole walked. After both runners advanced on an errant pickoff throw by Moore, Nieto walked to load the bases.

Ramirez fouled off two pitches before lacing a bases-clearing double to left to cash in the opportunity.

The Suns broke the game open in the fourth for a 7-0 lead, beginning with Caleb Ramsey’s leadoff homer over the right-field fence. Billy Burns doubled and Martinson drew a walk to end Moore’s night.

Skole greeted Rome reliever John Cornely with a single to right to drive in Burns for his South Atlantic League-leading 33th RBI. Ramirez followed with a two-out cue shot down the third-base line to beat out an infield single and score Martinson.

Cornely walked Brett Newsome to load the bases and Justin Miller to force in another run to end the four-run inning.

After Rome scored its two runs agains Wang, the Suns got both runs back with one swing in the seventh — a two-run homer to right by Nieto on the first pitch he saw from reliever Ryne Harper.

Hagerstown added a final run in the eighth when Harper hit Martinson with a pitch with the bases loaded. Rome pitchers hit four Suns batters.

Nathan Karns pitched the final three innings to earn his second save, allowing one hit and one walk while striking out six. Burns had three of Hagerstown’s 13 hits.

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