PASCO — The Everett AquaSox got off to blistering starts in the previous two Northwest League seasons. So far this season the Sox are giving some of those wins back.
Everett’s slow start continued Thursday as the Sox fell 2-1 to the Tri-City Dust Devils for their sixth straight loss.
The Sox sprinted out of the gates the past two seasons, going 13-3 in June in 2012 and 14-2 in June in 2013. However, this season Everett has won just once in its first seven games, and the Sox already find themselves five games behind Spokane in the North Division standings.
Everett put together a season-high 10 hits Thursday, including three each by Phillips Castillo and Wilton Martinez. However, Castillo’s solo home run was the only run the Sox were able to muster from those hits. Everett was 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position.
Meanwhile, Tri-City (3-4) was able to scratch out two runs on just six hits, and that proved enough.
Tri-City’s bullpen was particularly effective. Dylan Thomas pitched three scoreless innings to pick up the win. Then Josh Mueller and Scott Firth each tossed a perfect inning, with Firth picking up the save.
Everett starting pitcher Blake Holovach was the hard-luck loser. He retired the first seven batters he faced, and he allowed just two runs on six hits and no walks through seven innings.
Everett scored first in a game for the first time this season when the Sox struck in the top of the second inning. Castillo led off the inning by belting a homer to left, giving Everett a 1-0 lead. The homer was just Everett’s second of the season in seven games.
Tri-City tied it up in the fourth with a manufactured run. Marcos Derkes reached on a bunt single, stole second, was sacrificed to third, then scored on Sam Bumpers’ groundout to second, knotting it at 1-1.
The Dust Devils then took the lead in the seventh. Bumpers and David Bergin began the inning by smacking back-to-back doubles, with Bergin putting the ball over the head of Castillo in left to make it 2-1. It could have been more, but Sox center fielder Austin Cousino gunned down Bergin at the plate as Bergin tried to score from third on Richard Prigatano’s line out to center, ending the inning. However, the one run proved to be all the Dust Devils needed.