PASCO — The Everett AquaSox never did figure out Tri-City starting pitcher Jayson Aquino.
For 61/3 innings the Dust Devils left-hander blanked Everett, but once Aquino left the game in the seventh, the Sox offense exploded for five runs to earn a 5-2 win on Tuesday night.
Everett center fielder James Zamarripa keyed the inning with a two-run single off Tri-City reliever Shawn Stuart that tied the score. Zamarripa later scored the go-ahead run when he stole third and the throw from Dust Devils catcher Chris O’Dowd sailed down the right-field line.
Everett continued to pummel Stuart, adding two more runs on Jamodrick McGruder’s RBI triple and a squeeze bunt from Jack Reinheimer to cap the five-run inning, which propelled the Sox (10-2) to their third straight victory and ensured Everett’s best start in franchise history through the first 12 games.
Richard White earned the victory in relief, while Jose Valdivia threw three scoreless innings to pick up the save.
The Dust Devils (5-7) scored their two runs in the first inning as AquaSox starter Steven Ewing struggled early. Ewing allowed the first four Dust Devil hitters to reach base. Back-to-back infield singles from Michael Tauchman and Michael Benjamin each drove in a run and staked the Dust Devils to an early 2-0 lead.
Aquino was able to protect the lead by getting the Sox to beat the ball into the ground. The lefty induced 12 groundball outs and struck out three, while allowing five hits.
After the first inning, Ewing settled down, shutting out the Dust Devils over the next four innings to keep Everett in the game. The right-hander managed to throw five innings, giving up six hits, with three walks and four strikeouts.