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With win over Rainiers, Buzz move to within 4 1/2 games of first

Buzz 7, Rainiers 2It won't inspire a novel, nor will it ever be chronicled in a mini-series or motion picture.

That said, Salt Lake's 7-2 win over Tacoma at Franklin Covey Field Saturday still had some significance. The victory moved the Buzz to within 4 1/2 games of South Division-leading Fresno.

Not a bad situation for a team with a 30-35 record. Especially for a squad with its next nine games at home.

"It could be better," said Buzz manager Phil Roof. "We've just got to keep capitalizing and keep inching toward .500."

If practice makes perfect, Buzz first baseman David Ortiz could teach the class. The slugger, who spent most of the 1998 season with the parent Minnesota Twins, broke from a power slump (one homer in his last 38 at-bats) with a pair of mammoth blasts over the fence.

Earlier in the day, long before the first popcorn vendor or usher arrived, Ortiz received some individualized instruction from Roof. The two discussed redirecting the frustrated hitter's thinking.

It worked and the scoreboard proved it.

"He's been struggling a little bit and hasn't been happy with his production," said Roof, who felt Ortiz was putting too much pressure on himself. "He played a good game tonight. This is what he's capable of . . . He came out swinging tonight."

By doing so, Ortiz helped Buzz starter Mark Redman record his fourth straight victory.

"He pulled out a nice win for me," said Redman, who was relieved after six innings with Salt Lake leading 3-2 after Ortiz's first homer. He followed it up with another two-run shot in the eighth. In-between the blasts, Mike Moriarty and Brian Richardson each hit solo homers.

George Williams had an RBI single in the fourth inning as Salt Lake began reducing a 2-0 Tacoma lead.

Salt Lake and Tacoma meet for the final time this season Sunday at 2 p.m.

Buzz RHP Shane Bowers (2-0, 6.04 ERA) and Rainiers RHP Paul Abbott (1-0, 5.14 ERA) are the scheduled starters.

BEE LINES: The attendance was 9,779 . . . The Twins have reassigned catcher A.J. Pierzynski back to Salt Lake. He'll likely be activated Tuesday.