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Ramos puts Missions in control09/07/2007 1:17 AM ET
By Michael Avallone
The San Antonio Missions didn't need any late-inning dramatics on Thursday night.
Cesar Ramos fired six strong innings as San Antonio cruised past the Frisco RoughRiders, 6-1, to take a commanding 2-0 lead in its best-of-5 Texas League first-round playoff series.
One night after scoring three runs in the ninth to pull out a 5-3 victory, the Missions rode the talented right arm of Ramos (1-0), who won for the ninth time in his last 11 decisions.
The 23-year-old California native allowed a run on five hits and two walks while matching a career high with eight strikeouts.
"All of my pitches were working tonight," said Ramos, who struck out the side in the sixth. "My slider was working well and I was able to spot my fastball in and out. I was letting them put the ball in play. I still felt strong after my final inning, but my pitch count was getting up there, so I was taken out."
Ramos went 3-0 with a 2.50 ERA in his last three regular-season starts against the RoughRiders after surrendering 13 earned runs over 15 frames in his first three outings against them.
"Because we face teams in our division so many times, you get a good feel for your opponent and hopefully you can take that knowledge into future starts," said Ramos.
Kyle Stutes, Dirk Hayhurst, Paul Abraham and Neil Jamison combined to yield one hit and a walk while fanning two over the final three frames.
San Antonio's Peter Ciofrone ripped a solo homer, his first of the playoffs, to snap a 1-1 tie in the sixth. He added an RBI single in the eighth.
Brett Dowdy had two doubles and an RBI and Chad Huffman and Luis Cruz also drove in runs for the Missions, who broke the game open with a four-run eighth.
Armando Galarraga (0-1), who returned to Frisco for the playoffs after making four starts for Triple-A Oklahoma, gave up two runs on six hits with eight strikeouts over seven innings.
Casey Benjamin clubbed a solo homer, his first, in the fifth for the RoughRiders, who have lost six of their last seven meetings with San Antonio.
The Missions return home Friday in search of a sweep. Game 4, if necessary, is Saturday.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.