Losing Streak Over, Hillsboro Hops Over Indians, 5-2
Losing streak ended Wednesday night. After getting swept by the Eugene Emeralds last week and losing to the Spokane Indians last night, seven games were more than enough for the Hillsboro Hops as they beat the Indians 5-2.
Something in the Air
Tonight felt different. The Hops had teased before but tonight didn’t feel the same. On the field, defense was crisp. Second baseman Leodany Perez made a sliding, reaching grab of a sure single up the middle to save a run. Short stop Blaze Alexander grabbed a hot grounder to his right and threw a sharp strike to his left into first baseman’s Spencer Brickhouse’s glove. Tonight, fundamentals were sound and reaction times quicker.
At the plate, the Hops were aggressive with their swings. There were no home runs but Leodany Perez and Andy Yerzy doubled. Dom Canzone tripled. They used the second and third innings to build a quick 5-0 lead and this time held on to it. The Indians managed a solo shot in the fifth by Kyle Datres and Niko Decolati singled home Aaron Shunk in the sixth but no more.
Losing streak Ends From Mound
Last week, the Hops gave up big innings and the fear remained tonight. Would that bugaboo repeat?The Hops relief crew said, “No.” Ryne Nelson (W, 4-1) pitched five strong innings, giving up only the Datres homer for a score. Nelson threw nine strikeouts over those five innings. Ryne also allowed three base runners if you count a home run trot. By the time Ryne handed the ball over to Tyler Jones, he left the mound with a 5-1 lead.
Tyler came over to the Diamondback organization in a trade back on June 3rd. Tyler was one of those “players to be named later” transactions. But, Tyler came over while he was on the 7-day injured list. Assigned to Hillsboro, the Hops activated him for his Hops debut tonight. He ran into a little trouble loading the bases but managed to get himself out of the inning with only one run scored, due in part thanks to his defense backing him up with several nice plays.
Wesley Rodriguez (H, 1) and Mailon Arroyo (H, 1) followed Jones and faced the minimum six batters. Closer Joe Jones (S, 5) (no relation) came on for the ninth and allowed one base runner (on a fielding error by Perez) and induced the fly ball to left that ended the game and stopped the losing streak.
The win helped the Hillsboro Hops (17-25) keep pace at ten and a half games back of Eugene who are still on their winning streak, making it eight games in a row. Consequently, the loss dropped the Spokane Indians (20-24) down to eight and a half games below Eugene and only two games above Hillsboro.
Both teams meet tomorrow night at Ron Tonkin Field for game three of the six game series. The two teams are now tied 1-1 for the week. You can catch it on MiLB.tv, listen to it on 620 AM radio or follow me on Twitter for half inning updates. My Twitter handle is below. Game starts at 7:05 PM.
Meanwhile, check out my look back at week seven from yesterday.