Friday August 3, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- It isn't necessarily how you win in a playoff chase, it's that you win.

The Pittsfield Suns pounded out 13 hits against the Wachusett Dirt Dawgs Thursday night. The Suns left the bases loaded once, two runners on twice and had two runners thrown out at home. No matter as Matt Timoney and three relievers combined to keep the visitors under wraps in a 5-3 win.

"There were some guys left in scoring position. I left a few. A win's a win. I'll take it no matter what," Suns designated hitter Brendan Slattery said. "Thirteen hits look pretty good up there."

The win still has the Suns on the outside looking in of the Futures League playoff race. Pittsfield is in fifth place, but two percentage points behind Martha's Vineyard for fourth in the standings. Pittsfield is a game out of third place and just two games behind second-place North Shore.

"We'll take any [win] we can right now," Suns manager Jamie Keefe said. "We're swinging the bats [well] right now. We'll go into [today] and play it the way we have to play it."

The Suns will, however, not have first baseman-outfielder Ryan Deitrich with them on their trip. Deitrich was injured on a collision with Wachusett second baseman Eric Hailer at first. The incident came after Deitrich put down a sacrifice bunt and the throw beat the runner to the bag.

Deitrich was taken off the field on a stretcher and went by ambulance to Berkshire Medical Center. Keefe said it might be a concussion.

"He's had them before," said Keefe. "It was more precaution than anything else."

Timoney (4-0) went six innings, giving up two runs on four hits. He walked three and struck out eight. He walked in a run with the bases loaded in the first, but pitched out of that jam. Krebs faced three batters in the ninth and got a game-ending double play to register his third save.

Keefe and the Suns held their breath in the fourth inning when right fielder Jimmy Ricoy was shaken up. The Dirt Dawgs got a leadoff double in the inning by Sean Gannon. Timoney wild pitched Gannon to third when Ysander Figueroa hit a fly ball to deep right. Ricoy ran toward the foul pole, made the catch and went over the short fence into the kid's play area.

"I was about to get under it and I thought it was just a routine fly ball," Ricoy said. "The ball kept going and the fence just creeped up on me. It just knocked the wind out of me a little bit."

That sacrifice fly gave Wachusett a 2-1 lead. The Suns took the lead with two runs in the fourth. Rob McLam drove one in with a single into the vacated hole after he faked a bunt. Deitrich brought the second run home with a sacrifice fly.

The teams traded runs and it was 4-3 going into the bottom of the eighth. Wachusett reliever Costas Tingas retired the first two hitters he faced. Tito Marrero, who replaced Deitrich at first, smacked an 0-2 pitch over the bullpen and out of the park for his first home run of the season. It was his first home run in more than two months, dating back to his season at Long Island University. It was the first home run for a Suns player since Deitrich hit one on July 20 against Wachusett.

"It felt great. It was my first at-bat in like six games. I really needed to do it for my family," said Marrero, whose father is in the hospital.

"An extra run is always big. Especially in a playoff race, if you can give your closer a two-run lead instead of a one-run lead, it can be a big
difference."