By Nick Patterson Herald Writer
EVERETT — Baseball is a sport of moments, where one or two instances often determine the outcome.
Tuesday night all those small instances went against the Everett AquaSox.
Everett was victimized by moments as the Sox fell to the Eugene Emeralds 7-5 at Everett Memorial Stadium.
Everything worked against the Sox on Tuesday — from an apparent home run ruled a double, to an apparent inning-ending diving catch ruled a trap, to a pitcher making a lone mistake but making it at the wrong time.
“Some things just didn’t go our way tonight,” Everett manager Rob Mummau said. “We had some soft-hit balls that fell in for them, a couple check swings we thought were strike three that weren’t called, some other things, too. It was just one of those games and we have to keep battling.
“We’ll look at (the questionable calls) on video tonight or tomorrow,” Mummau added. “We’re just in one of these spells were it seems everything is going against us.”
Felix Cabrera and Gabriel Quintana homered to lead Eugene (17-12 second half, 41-25 overall), which moved within one game of Vancouver for first place in the Northwest League West Division’s second-half race. Genison Reyes earned the win with 21/3 innings of hitless relief, while Roman Madrid got the final three outs to earn his league-leading 12th save.
Taylor Ard homered to lead Everett (12-16, 40-26), which tried to rally in the bottom of the ninth, but fell short.
Everett starting pitcher Dylan Unsworth had a Jeckyll and Hyde start. For the most part, the right-hander from South Africa pitched well, matching his season high by going seven innings and needing just 88 pitches to make it that distance. He also had a sterling 6-0 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
However, Unsworth was the victim of one unearned run, then made one mistake that resulted in a three-run homer hit by Cabrera, the No. 9 batter. Unsworth ended up allowing five runs and suffered just his second loss of the season to fall to 6-2.
“The one three-run home run, they had a couple cheap hits right before that, then their guy drilled one,” Mummau said. “That’s really the only mistake (Unsworth) made. I thought he pitched really well. The scoreboard says he gave up five runs, but he pitched a lot better than that.”
The Sox also felt victimized by two plays in the field. In the top of the fifth inning, right fielder Alfredo Morales looked like he made a diving catch for the inning ending out. However, it was ruled he trapped the ball. That eventually led to one run. Then in the bottom of the ninth, James Zamarripa appeared to hit a homer to right-center, with the ball rebounding back into the field off one of the poles holding up the net protecting the parking lot. However, it was ruled the ball hit off the wall, and Zamarripa had to settle for a double.
However, it was a play on which there was no debate that was the gamebreaking blow.
Eugene led 1-0 in the top of the second when the Emeralds put two runners on base with Alberth Martinez’s bloop single to center and River Stevens’ perfect bunt single. That brought Cabrera to the plate. On a 1-0 pitch Cabrera yanked the ball down the left-field line and out of the park for his first homer as an Emerald, giving Eugene a 4-0 lead.
Ard answered for Everett in the bottom of the third with a three-run bomb of his own, his going the opposite way to right-center to cut the deficit to 4-3.
Eugene got another run in the fifth on Gabriel Quintana’s two-out RBI single to center. That came two pitches after Morales thought he’d caught Maxx Tissenbaum’s liner on the dive, only for it to be ruled a trap.
The Emeralds then created some distance in the eighth when Quintana hit an Everett Memorial Stadium homer, his high fly to the short fence in right-center hitting off the top off the wall and bouncing over for a two-run shot, making it 7-3.
Everett tried to come back in the ninth. Zamarripa’s double drove in one run, and he later scored on Ketel Marte’s RBI forceout. That brought Ard to the plate with a chance to tie it, but Madrid induced Ard into a groundout to third to end it.