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Pirates minor league notebook: Streaking Ramirez surpasses Marte's mark

West Virginia Power - Outfielder Harold Ramirez
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>West Virginia Power</em></div>Outfielder Harold Ramirez
West Virginia Power - West Virginia Power outfielder Harold Ramirez
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>West Virginia Power</em></div>West Virginia Power outfielder Harold Ramirez

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By Ryan Pritt
Saturday, July 19, 2014, 9:10 p.m.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Power outfielder Harold Ramirez hasn't recorded a hit in more than two weeks, but he still is riding the longest active hitting streak in the South Atlantic League.

Ramirez broke the franchise's hit-streak record since the Pirates took it over in 2009, surpassing Starling Marte's 22-game streak set that year.

But in a microcosm of an injury-riddled season, Ramirez landed on the disabled list a day later with shin splints. His streak stands at 23, but there is no timetable for his return.

Ramirez's hot start helped the Power to an 8-2 start in the second half after going a league-worst 20-48 over the first half.

West Virginia since has cooled, sitting at 14-15 entering Saturday night's game. Despite his impressive streak, Ramirez said wins and losses are more important.

“I want to help my teammates. I want to win,” Ramirez said. “(The streak) is good for me, but my team needs wins because the first (half) was no good.”

Injuries still a factor

Ramirez's injury was the latest in what has been a season-long issue as the Power have placed 14 players on the disabled list and have had as many as eight players out at once.

Early injuries to outfielders Barrett Barnes and Austin Meadows, among others, helped necessitate a move that sent Jeff Roy straight to High-A Bradenton after playing 53 games with short-season Jamestown in his first season last year.

The 22-year-old from Rhode Island was demoted to West Virginia at the beginning of the second half, continuing what has been a roller coaster ride early in his professional career.

Roy got off to a hot start with the Power but, like the team, has faded and was hitting .226 entering Saturday.

“I was in Florida after a game, found out I was coming up to West Virginia — kind of packed my apartment, packed my car, packed my bags — but you have to look at it this way: It's a learning experience,” Roy said.

Odds and ends

• JaCoby Jones was streaking toward Ramirez's heights as he registered a hit in his 17th consecutive game Wednesday. The streak ended Thursday, but he was hitting .297 with a team-best 16 home runs entering Saturday.

• Meadows made his Power debut this week after missing the first half with hamstring issues. The No. 8 pick of 2013, Meadows registered seven hits in his first 22 at-bats through five games.

• Right-hander Buddy Borden was named South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week last week after going 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 11 23 innings. Meanwhile, after a first half in which he went 2-8 with a 5.58 ERA in 13 starts, lefty Cody Dickson is 2-0 with a 1.98 ERA in his past five starts.

Ryan Pritt is a freelance writer.

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