Charlotte NC – Henry Ramos became the first Pawtucket Red Sox player in the 21st century to hit for the cycle, leading a 15-hit attack in a 7-4 victory over the Charlotte Knights on Independence Day in front of the largest crowd in BB&T Ballpark history.
A night after hitting a sixteenth-inning, walk-off home run, Ramos went deep (4) on the very first pitch he saw from Charlotte starter Jacob Turner (4-7). He knocked the ball off the railing just above the wall in right center field, springing the PawSox (44-41) to the early 1-0 lead in the opening frame.
In his next at-bat, Ramos led off the fourth inning with a double to left field. That sparked a two-run rally as the next two batters, Chris Marrero and Jantzen Witte, both doubled as well, extending Pawtucket’s lead to 3-0.
After two singles and a wild pitch, Ramos next stepped to the plate with runners on second and third and no outs in the fifth inning. He ripped a ball off the right field fence that bounded away from right fielder Jason Bourgeois for a two-run triple. The three-bagger gave him an extra-base hit in his fourth consecutive plate appearance.
After striking out in his fourth at-bat of the night, Ramos stepped to the dish with one out in the ninth needing a single to complete the cycle.
Batting left-handed, as he did in each of his previous four at-bats, Ramos pushed a bunt towards third baseman Jake Peter who was playing back. Ramos beat the throw to first base, earning the first PawSox cycle since Michael Coleman accomplished the feat on June 4, 1999.
Since the Puerto Rican was promoted to Pawtucket on June 6, he has hit .309. In the last 12 games he has started dating to June 22, Ramos has three triples, three home runs and 19 RBI. No other player in the International League has as many as even 15 RBI in that span.
Chris Marrero joined Ramos in leading the 15-hit parade.
Marrero, who will return to Charlotte next week for the Triple-A All-Star Game, launched a home run over the fence in left center field in the seventh inning for his second blast in as many nights. His 14 homers are tied for the fourth most in the league.
Marrero had three hits and scored two runs in the game.
Mike Miller also scored a pair of runs. He tripled to lead off the seventh inning and scored on Ryan Court’s sacrifice fly, upping the PawSox lead to 6-4 before Marrero’s blast made it 7-4.
Aside from the offensive fireworks on the fourth of July, Pawtucket starter Roenis Elias (6-3) pitched six innings to earn the win, improving his record to 6-0 in his last eight Triple-A starts.
Elias surrendered only one run over the first five innings, but allowed three more runs in his final inning of work.
Bourgeois collected an RBI single in the third inning that tied the game, 1-1. But Elias induced an inning-ending double play grounder from the rehabbing Justin Morneau to escape further trouble.
Three straight one-out singles in the sixth, including an RBI knock for Danny Muno, cut the Knights’ (39-47) deficit to 5-2. Later in the frame, Vinny Routino’s sacrifice fly and Tony Campana’s RBI single into center field brought Charlotte within a single run.
However, after the PawSox added their insurance runs in the top of the seventh, their bullpen took it the rest of the way.
Roman Mendez fanned three batters in two hitless innings and Kyle Martin recorded his fifth save with a 1-2-3 ninth.
Pawtucket improved to 9-4 against the IL South this season.
The PawSox continue their three-game series in Charlotte tomorrow at 7:05 p.m. Pawtucket lefthander Roenis Elias (5-3, 3.73) is scheduled make the start against Charlotte righty Jacob Turner (4-6, 4.58). Radio coverage on WHJJ (920 AM) and throughout the PawSox radio network begins at 6:35 p.m.
The PawSox return home on Thursday, July 14 to open the second half of the season with a four-game series against the Knights. Good seats for each game are still available at the McCoy Stadium box office; call (401) 724-7300 or visit pawsox.com to get your tickets today.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.