PITTSFIELD -- Phil Reese has settled in nicely as a top-of-the-rotation starter for the Pittsfield Suns.
The right-hander from Holy Cross was rocked for eight runs on six hits in his first start, but has been on target ever since. Reese improved his record to 2-1 with his fourth consecutive quality start in the Suns’ 8-2 win over Old Orchard Beach Tuesday night.
It was the Suns’ fifth consecutive win, the longest winning streak for the team this year.
Reese gave up two runs on four hits in 613 innings and had to sit through an eight-minute sun delay and a 20-minute lightning delay. The Frederick, Md., resident struck out two and did not walk a batter. He faced only three batters in five of the 613 innings he worked.
"My fastball was good. My curveball, I was able to spot it when I wanted it," said Reese. "It was mainly getting them to swing early in counts and pop balls up."
Reese retired the first 13 batters, losing his perfect game and no-hitter on Makae Hyde’s one-out single in the fifth inning. That led to the first of two Old Orchard Beach runs. Hyde’s single scooted past a diving Tad Martin at second base.
"I was definitely thinking about it," Reese said. "I was as upset about it as anybody else. But it’s part of the game. If it happens, it happens."
Reese also gave up a seventh-inning solo home run to Graham McIntire, who turned out to be Reese’s last batter. Lenox’s Austin Salinitis pitched 123 innings of shutout relief and extended his season-long scoreless streak to 1113 innings. Blake Drew pitched a 1-2-3 ninth.
"He’s been throwing well," Suns catcher Dan Palazzo said of Reese. "I thought he threw really well. He got into a quick rhythm. When I was throwing it back to him, he was throwing it right to me. When he’s attacking with his fastball, he’s pretty good."
The Suns broke a scoreless tie with four runs on two hits, an error, three hit batters and a walk in the fourth. Gary Tesch and Jeff McGarry had RBIs after being hit by Will Ore pitches and Ore walked Palazzo with the bases loaded.
Pittsfield added four more runs on five hits in the seventh.
The Suns pounded three Old Orchard beach pitchers for 11 hits. Palazzo, Zack Tower, Mike Valentin Jr. and Dan Cellucci all had two hits each.
The win begins a stretch of 13 games in 13 days for the Suns, who are ready for the grind.
"We have two weeks starting today," said Palazzo. "Hopefully, we can keep this thing going."
Old Orchard 000 010 100 -- 2 5 1
Pittsfield 000 400 40x -- 8 11 0
Ore (5), Greenberg (1), Boyle (2) and Hyde. Reese (6 1/3), Salinitis (1 2/3), Drew (1) and Palazzo. W--Reese (2-1). L--Ore (0-2). 2B--OOB 1 (Mendenhall). P 1 (Tower). HR--OOB 1 (McIntire).
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