Hillsboro Hops Walked Win Home, Aquasox Victory 8-6
The Hillsboro Hops walked two runs across the plate in the bottom of the eighth inning to break a tie and hand the win over to the Everett Aquasox, 8-6. A ninth inning rally fell two runs short of sending the game into extra innings.
Fatal Eighth Inning
Relief pitcher Eduardo Herrera (L, 0-1) came on the mound to start the eighth inning for the Hops. His team tied the score in the top of the inning and Herrera needed to shut down the Aquasox to give his team a chance to go ahead for the first time since the first inning, something he was known for. Herrera built a reputation on the late innings before this.
But, tonight turned out to be very atypical for the native Venezuelan. Two singles by Cesar Izturis, Jr. and Patrick Frick loosened up the base paths. To make matters worse, Herrera walked Trent Tingelstad to load the bases. A ripe opportunity to knock a few runs home.
The Aquasox did not need to make contact with the horsehide. Instead, Cade Marlowe walked earning him an RBI when Izturis touched home plate. The tie was broken 6-5 and the Hops never got the lead. Another run crossed the plate with another bases loaded walk for Carter Bins. Eduardo Herrera headed for the showers.
Two Home Runs For Hops Bats
As in two nights ago, the Hops bats did their best to keep up with the pace in the series ending loss to the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes. Now, the Hops faced the danger of repeating the loss against the Aquasox. It was deja vu all over again.
Tristin English continued his hot hitting streak raising his batting average to .288 with a 2 for 3 night at the plate. That included his third home run of the season in the top of the sixth when he sent a solo shot over the left-center gap. It brought the Hops back to within one run of the A’Sox. During the next inning, Eddie Hernandez hit his first home run of the season with Ryan January on board. Again, a Hops home run brought the team to within one run of the lead.
The night started with a Hillsboro Hops lead in the first. Jesus Marriaga scored on an Andy Yerzy ground out. The only Hops lead of the night disappeared just as quickly in the bottom of the inning. For the rest of the game, the Hops played catch up. They managed to tie the game at 5-5 in the top of the eighth but never could get the lead back.
Pitching Took a Bruising
Travis Kuhn (W, 4-1) owned the mound when the A’Sox took the lead for good in the eighth for the win. Damon Cassetta-Stubbs started for Everett but in a game where the bats spoke often, no pitcher could hold on to a potential win for very long. In fact, all three A’Sox pitchers could not keep the Hops from scoring.
Overall, the Hops walked a total of eleven batters on the night. In comparison, the Hops pitchers struck out just seven batters during the same time frame.
Two Hops hurlers did very well in their time on the field. Justin Garcia pitched two innings during the sixth and seventh slots. Garcia held Everett scoreless and hitless for those six outs, giving up two walks and striking out three. The only other pitcher of the game to escape without a run scored closed the game for the Hops. Mailon Arroyo pitched the ninth to no score and just one hit. He walked one and struck out one.
Despite the fact that the Hops walked the win away, the loss did not dent the one game lead the Hillsboro Hops (11-7) hold over the Eugene Emeralds in the Southern Division. The win helped the Everett Aquasox (8-10) keep pace, two games behind the Northern Division co-leading Spokane Indians and Tri City Dust Devils.
Both teams will return to Funko Field to play the third and final game of the series. The rubber match determines the winner of the series as it is tied at 1-1. Drey Jameson starts for the Hops. In his last appearance on Thursday, Jameson (still on limited pitch count) went two hitless and scoreless innings for the no decision. The A’Sox have not named a starter yet.
After that, stay with the Minor League Sports Report for game recaps throughout the season. Follow me on Twitter for half inning updates on all Hops home games.