Unsworth, Littlewood lead AquaSox past Bears 5-2

EVERETT — Everett AquaSox starting pitcher Dylan Unsworth threw seven strong innings and Marcus Littlewood hit a go-ahead, two-run single in the sixth as the Sox won their final regular season home game 5-2 over the Yakima Bears on Sunday afternoon.

After giving up a two-run homer to Yogey Perez-Ramos in the third, Unsworth (7-2) set down the final 13 hitters he faced in a row to keep Everett in the game. The South African right-hander struck out five and yielded just two hits to earn the win.

Patrick Kivlehan went 2-for-2 with two doubles and two runs scored to raise his average to .300 on the season. Second baseman Brock Hebert walked twice and scored both times to help the Sox (16-17, 44-27) take eight out of 10 from the Bears this season.

Unsworth came into the game having allowed just one walk in his last 25 innings, but with two outs in the third, he uncharacteristically walked the No. 9 hitter, Jesus Abreu. It proved to be a costly free pass as the next batter, the light-hitting Perez-Ramos, powered one into the home-run porch in right field for his first professional homer.

However, Unsworth and reliever Matt Vedo combined to limit the Bears to just two base runners over the final six innings.

After being held scoreless through the first three innings, Everett finally pushed a run across off Yakima starter Alexander Carreras in the fourth. Ketel Marte led off with a walk, took second on a wild pitch and scored on Taylor Ard’s RBI single up the middle.

Everett took the lead for good in the sixth. Yakima reliever Blake Forslund (1-3) walked the leadoff hitter, Hebert. One out later, Kivlehan hit a double to the alley in left center to put runners on second and third. Littlewood then flared a ball that right fielder Joe Loftus made a diving attempt on, but could not come up with. Hebert and Kivlehan scored to give the Sox a 3-2 lead.

The Sox extended their lead with two runs in the eighth without the benefit of a hit. Bears reliever RJ Hively allowed three walks, three stolen bases and committed an error in the inning. Hebert led off with a walk and stole second and third on back-to-back pitches. After Kivlehan walked with one out, Hebert scored when Hively’s pickoff attempt at first got by Wagner Mateo. Kivlehan later stole third and scored on Alfredo Morales’ RBI groundout to make the score 5-2.

Yakima finally ended its string of 16 straight outs to threaten in the ninth. The Bears put the first two on to bring the tying run to the plate. But Vedo retired Kevin Medrano, the Northwest League’s leading hitter coming into the game, on a groundout and Hebert made a over-shoulder, back-handed catch on Loftus’ shallow flyball for the second out. Vedo then fanned Jacob House to end the game and record his fourth save of the year.

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