Eduardo Diaz Grand Slam Sets Tone, Hillsboro Hops Pummel Dust Devils 10-2
Eduardo Diaz Grand Slam launched 5-run first inning with no outs. From there, it was all Hillsboro Hops as the Tri City Dust Devils could never get closer than five runs after that.
Slade Cecconi Quality Start
Hops pitcher Slade Cecconi (W, 4-2) and the bullpen was half of the reason the lead grew. His last appearance (7/22) resulted in a no decision in a game that extra innings. In his six innings, Cecconi faced four innings of minimum batters. In the first, third, fifth and sixth, he retired the side on 38 pitches, 4 Ks, six fly outs and two ground outs. The only time he faced trouble was in the second and fourth.
Francisco Del Valle led off the second with a walk. The Dust Devils followed with two singles (Adrian Rondon and Kenyon Yovan) and a sac fly from Keinner Pina. Mixed in there was a strikeout to Gareth Morgan. The fourth saw a one out triple from Rondon who scored on Morgan’s RBI single.
The Bullpen kept Tri City scoreless the rest of the way. Wesley Rodriguez pitched the seventh allowing singles to Morgan and Pina but struck out Livan Soto to end the inning with runners at the corners. Denson Hull faced the minimum three batters including two strikeouts in the eighth. Kyler Stout closed out the ninth with a little trouble but an eight run lead softened the pressure. Rondon and Yovan both walked but Stout easily managed three outs with the help of the infield and outfield.
Eduardo Diaz Grand Slam Just the Start
The other half of the reason for the big lead were the bats of the Hops and their aggressiveness at the plate. The Hops scored in five of their eight innings tonight. In the first, besides Eduardo Diaz Grand Slam with Jorge Barrosa, Carson Kelly and Axel Andueza on base, Blaze Alexander singled and scored on Nick Dalesandro’s RBI single later in the inning.
In the third, Andueza singled and scored when Tristin English was struck by a pitch with the bases loaded. The ball struck him in the back bottom of his batting helmet forcing a check-in with the trainer who ran out of the dugout to make sure he was all right. Tristin would be hit by another pitch later in the game – in the same place – the back bottom of the helmet. Eduardo Diaz also was hit by a pitch earlier in the inning and was on second base when Tristin got his first beaning.
Blaze Alexander doubled in the fourth and came home on English’ RBI single. Alexander also scored when he led off the sixth with a walk and scored on Cam Coursey’s sac fly. Blaze scored a fourth time in the game. The last time was in the eighth when he walked again and scored on Dalesandro’s RBI single. Andueza scored just before that, leading off the eighth with his single and scoring on Coursey’s second sac fly of the night.
The only time Alexander did not score in the game came in the 2nd when he walked and left stranded at third.
Eduardo Diaz grand slam helps chase Tri City Starter
Hector Yan started for Tri City and took the loss after being chased in the first inning. Yan was on the other end of the Eduardo Diaz Grand Slam. After that, Yan also gave up Alexander’s single and a walk to English. Yan faced six batters in the inning without recording an out. All of them reached base safely.
Tyler Smith, Cole Duensing and Chad Sykes shut the Hops down to a more respectable four runs on six hits over the last eight innings. But, that was no match for the scoreless job by the Hops’ relief corps.
The win Pulled the Hillsboro Hops (32-40) up a game closer to Everett who lost tonight. The Hops sit 16 games back. With Spokane’s loss, they are now just one game back of both the Indians and the Canadians.
The loss dropped the Tri City Dust Devils another game behind the Hops at three and a half games back. With Everett’s loss, Tri City maintains their sixth place spot at 19.5 games back.
Both teams meet Thursday night for game#3. The series is currently tied at 1-1. You can watch the game on Roots Sports, listen to it on 620 AM radio or follow me on Twitter for half game updates. You can find my Twitter handle below.