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Bats batter bad pitches

June 30, 1998|By CURT HORNBECKER / Staff Correspondent

John Sneed made just two mistakes in seven innings Monday night, and both were hit over the rightfield wall.

Ultimately, however, it was an Anthony Salley pitch which wasn't hit at all that made the difference.

Leading 3-2, Greensboro scored an insurance run on a wild pitch in the eighth inning, and held on for a 4-3 South Atlantic League win at Municipal Stadium before 1,096 fans, dropping the Suns to 4-8 in the second half.

Salley, who relieved Sneed (9-2) to start the eighth, walked Marc Mirizzi with one out. Allen Butler's single to center pushed Mirizzi to third before Salley uncorked his eighth wild pitch of the season for a 4-2 lead.

Meanwhile, Greensboro starter Brian Reith (5-5) was mowing down the Suns. After giving up a two-run homer to Mike Young with no outs in the first, the Bats' righthander allowed only one base runner to reach second base through the eighth inning.

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"After the first inning, (Reith) threw some really good change-ups that made his fastball more effective,'' Suns manager Marty Pevey said. "You have to tip your hat to him. He changed speed well and pitched a very good ball game."

Hagerstown rallied for a run in the ninth when Chris Hayes hit a one-out single to third and moved to second when the throw to first sailed high. Greg Morrison flied to center for the second out, but Lorenzo Bagley singled to left, scoring Hayes, before Bats closer Jason Ellison shut the door for his 13th save of the year.

Greensboro left fielder John Rodriguez responded to Young's homer with a solo blast in the second. Matt Purkiss made it 3-2 with a two-run shot in the fourth.

"We just didn't get a lot of back-to-back base hits where you can make things happen," said Pevey. "We scattered our seven hits."

Despite losing seven of the last eight games, Pevey does seem too concerned; especially considering the Suns made up so much ground late in the first half to win the Northern Division first half title.

"I think we're starting to step it up a little bit now," Pevey said.

the Suns' manager. "In the first half, all the money was on the table. Right now we don't have the adrenaline flowing from the first pitch of the game to the last out. This is not a sprint. We just need to work hard and try to get back to where we were."

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