CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The West Virginia Power's playoff push took a hit Tuesday.
The Power lost starting infielder Dilson Herrera, a South Atlantic League all-star this season, in a trade, but the players rallied around each other just as they have all year in claiming a 4-2 victory over Asheville. A paid crowd of 1,912 attended the South Atlantic League matchup at Appalachian Power Park.
Jordan Steranka's two-run single in the bottom of the first sparked a three-run frame that gave the Power the lead for good and starting pitcher Jason Creasy and two relievers made it stand up.
"We responded really well,'' said Steranka. "It was kind of crushing news [losing Hererra]. He's a great player. The next guy has to step up and we've been doing that all summer.''
The Power moved one game ahead of Hagerstown for first place in the Northern Division with six games left in the season's second half. The Suns lost 6-5 at home to Lakewood.
West Virginia will earn an automatic bid into the postseason if it wins the division. If Hagerstown takes the Northern Division title, there will be a wild-card spot available since the Suns also won the first-half championship.
The wild card would go to the second-place team with the best overall record. West Virginia (77-57) holds a four-game edge over Hickory (73-61). The Crawdads lost 9-5 Tuesday at Greensboro. If the Power and Crawdads finish with identical regular-season records, Hickory owns the tiebreaker based on winning the season series 4-3 against the Power.
The Pittsburgh Pirates sent Herrera and a player to be named later to the New York Mets on Tuesday in exchange for outfielder Marlon Byrd, catcher John Buck and cash considerations. Herrera hit .265 with 11 home runs and 56 RBIs for the Power.
"It was a tough day for us, but a good response,'' said Power manager Michael Ryan. "We know he's going on to some good things and we're nothing but happy for him.