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Brotherly Love With Ramón Urías

Image Credit: Bill Menzel/Latino Sports

BRONX, NY — Brotherly love in baseball and not talking about the city of Philadelphia that owns that distinction. Over the years, though, the game has seen a share of brothers playing on opposite sides or wearing the same uniform.

Recall pitchers Jim and Gaylord Perry, the only brothers in Major League history to win Cy Young Awards. Phil and Joe Niekro had the most victories (539) as pitchers by any brother combination in big league history.

And for the past four years the trend continues with the Urías brothers, Ramón of the Baltimore Orioles and Luis of the Milwaukee Brewers. Both infielders, the Urías family is proudly represented from Magdalena, de Kino, Mexico, Ramón is the youngster (29) and Luis (26) considered the baby brother.

So last month in June it was bound to happen, both brothers for the first time played against each other. The Orioles visited Milwaukee for three games and it wasn’t a rivalry. Rather that brotherly love, and if it wasn’t for the new and balanced MLB schedule, this meeting on the field would not have come so soon.

“Super cool, first time opportunity to play against each other in the big leagues,” said Ramón prior to his team losing to the Yankees 6-3 in the Bronx Monday evening. “The family was watching that game back home.”

Ramón Urías – Image Credit: Bill Menzel/Latino Sports

Ramón said the entire family in Mexico were focused on the three game series. In the finale, Ramón hit his 2nd home run of the season, went 3-for-4, and his two-out RBI aided the Orioles to a 6-3 win.

“They were proud about the home run,” he said with a smile. “I was proud. My brother was proud. We are brothers that enjoy each other and we support each other. We always enjoy our time together and that meant so much to me.”

Both are having a successful first half of the season, though Ramón was on the injured list with a bad hamstring in May and quickly recovered as the Orioles continued to become a surprise team in baseball, second to Tampa Bay in the AL East.

Luis, struggling to find his stride was recently optioned to Nashville and the Brewers expect him to be recalled soon, a setback for the moment but Brewers manager Craig Counsell said in New York last week the third baseman was close for a return to the big league roster.

Image Credit: Bill Menzel/ Latino Sports

In the meantime, Ramón has been consistently on base. He recorded a 10th multi-hit game of the season June 26th against the Reds and hit his third home run of the season in the third inning on June 21st at Tampa Bay, the hardest hit home run of his career (109.2 mph)

Ramón also went 4-for 5 with two doubles, two runs, and two RBI on June 11th against the Royals, and four hits matched a career high in late April against the Red Sox prior to the injured hamstring. He also drove in a career high four runs on May 4 at Kansas City.

Regarding the consistency, Ramón said “Try to stay there. Average is up better this year. No big deal if you drop a bit, sometimes you drive in runs yet try and keep the same consistency.”

Monday night, Ramón went 1-for-4 and banged a sharp single to left off Domingo Germán. He came around to score the Orioles first run. It was off a 2-2 curveball, recalling of course that Germán was making his first start since the perfect game pitched against Oakland last week.

The Orioles and with Ramón at second base have been consistent with winning. They have been building on this first half success based on what was established last year. Their loss was just their sixth of the season when leading after seven innings, a testament to a strong backend of their bullpen. All-star relievers Yennier Cano (Havana, Cuba) and Félix Bautista (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) third in AL saves with 24, have been closing the door.

“We have been bringing everything together,” Ramón said. “Having good games, pitching and hitting.” I think we have a great bullpen that helps a lot during tough games. We are a good team and hard work got us here.”

Both brothers are uncertain about their plans during the four-day hiatus of the All-Star break, though Ramon would love to be with Luis. Conflicts, though, with a minor league schedule for Luis could prevent that if he is not recalled before the break.

Regardless, that ballgame in Milwaukee will always be remembered. After all, it is called Brotherly Love just like it was with the Niekro and Perry family.

Rich Mancuso: senior writer Twitter@Ring786 Mancuso.

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