GREENSBORO, N.C. — The Greensboro Grasshoppers restarted that notion of baseball being a game of inches on Tuesday.
And they used leadoff hitter Ryan Goetz as the measuring stick.
Goetz hit a three-run home run that bounced off the top and over the right-field wall to give Greensboro all the offense it needed for a 4-2 victory over the Hagerstown Suns.
The loss knocked the Suns (30-21) to 6 1/2 games behind the South Atlantic League Northern Division-leading Grasshoppers. Hagerstown and Greensboro play for the last time in the first half today at 10:35 a.m.
The Suns had a chance to tie the game in the ninth, with the tying run at the plate with one out, but failed.
Goetz, who hit his second homer of the year and his second in two days, gave starter Jose Urena (4-3) all the support he needed. Urena held Hagerstown to one hit — a fifth-inning single by Justin Miller — while striking out five in five innings.
Suns starter Taylor Hill matched Urena until the Grasshoppers broke through in the bottom of the fifth.
Ryan Rieger and Wilfredo Gimenez each collected one-out singles to set the table for Goetz’s blast. Goetz hit a drive just inside the right-field foul pole that was just long enough to bounce off the ball and out of the park.
Hill (4-4) lasted seven innings, allowing three runs on seven hits, while walking two and striking out for.
Greensboro padded the lead with a run in the eighth off Suns reliever Travis Henke, using three singles — the third by Rieger for the RBI.
The Suns got back into the game in the ninth against Grasshoppers reliever Austin Brice.
Caleb Ramsey drew a one-out walk and came home on Jason Martinson’s homer to left. Matt Skole followed with a single to give Hagerstown two tries with the tying run at the plate, but Steven Souza flew out and Miller struck out to end the game.