EVERETT — The Everett AquaSox hope Tuesday was a preview the second half of the Northwest League season.
Nate Tenbrink, on a rehab assignment from Class AAA Tacoma, crushed a grand slam home run, and three pitchers combined on a three-hit shutout as the Sox topped the Boise Hawks 6-0 at Everett Memorial Stadium in the first game of a five-game series.
The first half of the season ended Monday, with Everett finishing a league-worst 11-27. However, the Sox got the second half started in impressive fashion Tuesday.
Everett got all its offense in the bottom of the fourth inning. The first two runs scored on a wild pitch, followed by an infield single by Austin Cousino. Boise reliever Brad Markey was brought into the game with the bases loaded and Tenbrink greeted him by smashing his first pitch over the homer porch in right and out of the stadium, increasing the lead to six.
That was more than enough offensive support for Jeffeson Medina and company. Medina threw six strong innings, allowing three hits and three walks while striking out five to earn the win. Then Logan Bowcom and Cruz Pereira combined for three hitless innings of relief.
Cousino and James Alfonso each finished 2-for-4 for Everett (1-0 second half, 12-27 overall).
Mark Zagunis went 1-for-2 and walked twice to lead Boise (0-1, 22-17).
Two players from Class AAA Tacoma joined the Sox on Tuesday to begin rehabilitation stints.
Utilityman Nate Tenbrink, who made his professional debut with Everett in 2008, was in the lineup Tuesday in left field. Tenbrink, who also plays in the infield, is recovering from back problems that limited him to one game with Tacoma this season and have kept him on the disabled list since April 8. Last season, the 27-year-old from Olathe, Kansas, batted .267 with 15 home runs and 60 RBI in 124 games with the Rainiers. He’s expected to spend a handful of games with the Sox.
Relief pitcher Logan Bawcom pitched an inning Tuesday. He’s been on the disabled list since June 13 because of a strained oblique muscle. At the time, the 25-year-old from Dallas, Texas, was 2-4 with a 5.55 earned run average in 25 relief appearances with the Rainiers.
Sox manager Dave Valle said he didn’t know if Bawcom would make any other appearances with Everett.