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ALBUQUERQUE HURLS BLANKS AT BUZZ

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Matt Herges tossed a complete game shutout as the Albuquerque Dukes defeated the Salt Lake Buzz 4-0 in Pacific Coast League play Friday.

The loss cost Salt Lake an opportunity to improve its postseason hopes. Division-leading Edmonton and wildcard hopeful Calgary also lost, leaving the Buzz four games back of the Trappers and 31/2 behind the Cannons with just 16 left to play.Salt Lake (5-3 on this road trip) fell to 66-62 overall and 31-25 in the second half.

Mike Bush led off the second inning with a home run as the Dukes took the lead for good. Albuquerque increased its advantage to four runs in the eighth with a sacrifice fly, a suicide squeeze and a run-scoring single.

Salt Lake never countered - advancing just one runner to second base in the game. In being shutout for just the second time this season, the Buzz scattered six hits.

The lack of production has become commonplace with LaTroy Hawkins on the mound. The Buzz starter, who allowed six hits and three runs in 71/3 innings of work, saw his record fall to 8-7. Salt Lake has scored a total of 15 runs in his losses.

BUZZ BRIEFS: Salt Lake opens its final homestand tonight, 7 p.m., against Edmonton . . . Even Now Dept.: Salt Lake and Albuquerque split 16 games this season and are 24-24 overall since the Buzz moved to Utah.