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How Hanley Saved Cody's Butt


            ATLANTA -- Here's a bit of inside information, and do we mean inside. Cody Ross is wearing a round badge on his left rump, courtesy of a Peter Moylan pitch that struck him there last night.

            But here's the catch: the circular welt isn't the imprint left by the baseball, but an empty can of Skoal put in his back pocket just before the at bat. According to Ross, Hanley Ramirez handed him the empty can just before his seventh-inning at bat and told him to put it in his back pocket for good luck.

            The reason: Ramirez thought it would help cure Ross of his hitting slump.

            "You know how baseball is," Ross said. "You'll do anything to get going."

            Ross doesn't dip. But he's happy the can was in the right place at the right time.

            "It kind of pinched when the ball hit," Ross said. "When I got to first, I thought to myself, 'This doesn't hurt as much as it should.'"

            And Ross broke out of his slump in the ninth by driving in his first run of the season with a single.

            I guess you could say that Ramirez had Ross' back covered.

           

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