Ronny Simon Nears Cycle, Hillsboro Hops Deal Canadians, 11-4
Ronny Simon joined the Hops ten days ago. He is already approaching rare territory for the Hillsboro Hops coming close to completing the cycle for only the second time in franchise history. Even falling a triple short of the feat, Ronny was the major contributor to the onrush of runs scored defeating the Vancouver Canadians 11-4.
Remove Doubt Early
Last night, the Hops didn’t distance themselves from the Canadians until the last half of the game, turning a 4-1 hill to a 8-1 mountain. Tonight, most of the doubt was gone by the second inning with a 7-0 lead. And a big reason why was Ronny Simon
Ronny Simon Homers
Batting second in the lineup, Ronny was just getting started. With one out, he smacked his first hit of the game out of the park for the game’s first run. Add Blaze Alexander’s double and AJ Vukovich’s RBI single and the Hops jumped to a 2-0 lead. There was much more to come as everyone in the starting lineup reached base safely at least once in the game.
Another factor stood on the mound. Marcos Tineo (W, 2-1) started for the Hops. The hope was for him to last through the first six innings to help save the supply of relief pitchers for another time. Tineo delivered with six innings of spot-on control. 93 pitches (61 of them strikes) stretched Marcos as far as he could before his pitch limit set in. Along the way, he struck out seven batters and gave up only five hits.
Ronny Simon Doubles
The second inning showed the first was just a warm up. All nine batters reached the plate. With one out, the next five batters reached base. Jorge Barrosa’s two-RBI single nearly cleared the loaded bases. Ronny Simon’s two-RBI double cleared the one Barrosa left behind along with Barrosa himself. Finally, Tristin English’s RBI single cleared Ronny from the base paths.
Now, the game was getting out of hand with a 7-0 lead and seven more innings to go. Still, Tineo worked the mound turning strikeouts into zeroes on the scoreboard. And, he had 68 more pitches to give before he reached his limit.
Vancouver said goodbye to their starting pitcher, Paxton Schultz (L, 4-5) and brought in Willie Gaston. He held the Hops scoreless for one inning. Then the Hops returned to their scoring ways.
Back to Back Triples.
It is ironic that Ronny Simon singled in the fourth. Instead of facing the bases loaded, it was his single that put him on and loaded them. Now all Ronny needed for the cycle was the triple. Meanwhile, English and Vukovich brought two more runs home to make it 9-0.
The irony came in the fifth. Axel Andueza and Cam Coursey led off with back to back triples. Andueza scored and Leodany Perez’ RBI groundout brought Coursey home. Now, the score climbed to 11-0. Ronny still needed his triple. The biggest question was did Andueza and Coursey leave any triples for him to hit?
The four runs scored chased Gaston after 30 pitches. On came Justin Maese and Thomas Ruwe. The Hops never scored again. But, by then, they didn’t need to.
Ronny Simon Singles
Ronny had one more chance in the eighth leading off. He connected but only for a single. Then he was removed from the bases with a fielder’s choice. His night at the plate was done. But, the Canadians weren’t. Eleven runs may be near impossible for one inning. But, they would see how close they would come.
Vancouver already scored two runs, one each in the sixth and seventh. Firstly, with Orelvis Martinez’ lead off home run. Secondly, with Andres Guerra’s lead off double and Luis De Los Santos’ RBI sac fly in the next inning.
Bobby Ay came on in relief for Tineo and allowed Guerra’s double. Tineo allowed Martinez’ homer in the previous inning. Ay stepped down with 28 pitches after the eighth to make room for closer Yaramil Hiraldo.
The Canadians scored two more runs on Hiraldo, none of them earned. Guerra made base on a throwing error. Rafael Lantigua, substituted for Eric Rivera earlier, walked. When Tanner Morris stepped up to the plate for his two RBI double, the inning (and the game) should have been over.
The win helped the Hillsboro Hops (44-53) to switch places with the Vancouver Canadians (44-54) and take fourth place all for themselves. The Hops are now eight games behind Spokane with the Indians loss tonight. Vancouver is now only five games ahead of Tri City with Dust Devils’ win tonight.
Elsewhere, Everett broke away from the tie with Eugene and now lead the Emeralds by one game.
In addition, both teams meet again tomorrow (Thursday) at the regular time of 7:05 PM. Furthermore, Hillsboro leads the series 2-0.
However, if you can’t make the game, you can watch the game on MiLB.tv, listen on 620 AM radio or follow me on Twitter for half inning updates. Consequently, my Twitter handle is below