SPOKANE — The Everett AquaSox should be feeling good about themselves after the first three games of the Northwest League season. Everett never trailed in the series with the Spokane Indians and finished off a three-game sweep with a 4-3 win on Sunday.
Everett starter Thyago Viera threw five shutout innings to earn the victory and James Zamarripa’s seventh-inning RBI single proved to be the difference as Mountlake Terrace High School alum Aaron Brooks threw two scoreless innings to earn the save.
Sox left fielder Phillips Castillo had two doubles and drove in two runs. Zamarripa, Martin Peguero and Michael Faulkner each finished 2-for-4. Alfredo Morales walked twice and scored two runs.
Spokane’s Chris Garia and Hirotoshi Onaka each had two hits, but the Indians couldn’t fully take advantage of four Everett errors. Spokane finished just 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
Viera was able to wiggle out of jams when he needed to. Viera picked off Onaka after the designated hitter’s one-out double in the first and benefitted from double plays in the second and fourth to escape unscathed. The Brazilian right-hander allowed three hits, three walks and struck out two.
The Indians finally received an outing longer than three innings from one of the their starting pitchers. Collin Wiles, the No. 53 overall pick by the Texas Rangers in last year’s amateur draft, pitched 51/3 innings and gave up five hits and three runs.
Wiles kept the Sox off the scoreboard until the fourth when Morales led off with a walk and Peguero followed with a single. After Reggie Lawson’s groundball moved the runners to second and third, Castillo doubled down the left-field line to give Everett a 2-0 advantage.
The Sox added to their lead in the sixth with Morales again leading off with a walk and eventually scored on Lawson’s RBI groundout.
After being blanked by Viera through the first five innings, the Indians scored twice in the sixth off reliever Luke Taylor. Garia led off with a double. Taylor then fielded Onaka’s bunt but threw the ball down the right-field line which allowed Garia to score. Janluis Castro added a sacrifice fly later in the inning to make the score 3-2.
The teams traded runs in the seventh. Zamarripa battled back from an 0-2 hole to work the count full and then lined a base hit to left field that scored Faulkner. The Indians responded on Onaka’s sacrifice fly to pull within a run.
Brooks entered in the eighth and promptly walked the first two hitters he faced. But Sox third baseman Bryan Brito atoned for two previous errors when he fielded Alberto Triunfel’s sacrifice bunt attempt and fired to shortstop Jack Reinheimer covering third base to force out Spokane’s Ryan Cordell. The play proved significant as the next hitter, Charles Moorman, flew out to center field on a ball that likely would’ve scored Cordell with the game-tying run.
Brooks also ran into trouble in the ninth. After Garia singled with one out, Brooks had the Indians centerfielder picked off, but Lawson’s throw to Reinheimer at second went into left field and Garia was able to go to third. With the infield drawn in, Brooks was able to retire Onaka on a groundball to Lawson at first for the second out and got Cam Schiller to groundout to second to close out the game.