Hillsboro Hops Strange Journey Loses to Emeralds 5-2
The Hillsboro Hops strange journey defined the first game of their short road trip to Eugene. The Hops didn’t even get their motor started until the seventh inning. The Eugene Emeralds won 5-2. But, it would take a strange journey before it ended.
Steven Leyton Get Hops On Scoreboard
Steven Leyton provided the only run support with his seventh inning home run with Jorge Barrosa on base. The Hops even earned a short lead going into late innings with a score of 2-1. But, it was short lived. The Emeralds scored three more runs in the bottom of the inning taking the lead back 4-2. The Ems added one more insurance run in the eighth for the final score.
It turned out to be a game where very little opportunity was taken during the Hops strange journey. The visitors did manage six hits on the night, only one less than their opponent, but took very little advantage. Hillsboro went hitless with runners in scoring position. Whatever the result, the only time the Hops scored was when they managed an extra base hit (Leyton’s home run). The rest of the Hops hits were singles.
Hops Strange Journey
Part of the Hops strange journey proved to be a little out of sorts. Maybe it was the time spent traveling on the road. Or, it could have been the full moon from last night. Whatever the reason, it was epitomized in the third when Jesus Marriaga proved to be the third out of the inning — when he came to the plate and batted out of order. Ryan January was due up after Tristin English – not Marriaga.
The “out of sorts” continued into the fourth. Ryan January came up to the plate to lead off. Since Marriaga, who followed him in the order, had already batted in the previous inning, that made Ricky Martinez, who followed January, out of order and thus an automatic out.
Hops Strange Journey Continues……
Most professional teams will not make that mistake through the entire season. The Hops did it in three different innings of the same game. In the sixth, again Jesus Marriaga followed Tristan English to the plate when it was supposed to be Ryan January. With Ricky Martinez following January next, it resulted in both batters called out when in real time, they singled and walked giving the Hops a scoring opportunity.
That may have been the most confusing part about it all to the live observer. This was all discovered after the fact, giving the appearance that the Hops were making it to base. In defense of the Hops batters, there is more than one reason this may have happened and not be the batter’s fault. But, it is surprising that no one caught it after the first time it occurred. Still, if those disqualified plate appearances had stood, it would have made no difference in the final score.
The more valid reason to the Hops struggles at the plate was the pitching staff of the Eugene Emeralds. The Hops couldn’t piece together more than two hits in an inning. With singles all but one of the Hops’ hits, as previously mentioned, it made it hard for the Hops to make it around the bases. The only time it happened, it was no more than a quick blip in an otherwise scoreless two inning stand by Ems pitcher Hunter Bigge (W, 1-0) who covered the sixth and seventh. Consequently, John Pomeroy (S, 1) pitched the hitless eighth and ninth for the save. On the other hand, Justin Garcia (L, 0-1) pitched two innings for the Hops allowing the three-run seventh for the loss.
The loss dropped the Hillsboro Hops (20-13) to a game behind the Southern Division leading Salem-Keizer Volcanoes with five games left to play in the first half. The win pulled the Eugene Emeralds (15-18) into a third place tie with the Boise Hawks, five games behind the Hops.
Both teams will return to PK Park in Eugene for game two of the three game series. Tyler Holton, a ninth round draft choice from 2018, will make his Hops debut on the mound. Holton has a 1-0 record from four games (two starts) in the AZL. His ERA is 3.38.
Ryan Jensen will start for the Emeralds. Jensen is Eugene’s first round draft choice from this year out of Fresno State. In his only other appearance, Jensen went two thirds of an inning allowing one run and walking three for a no decision.
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