KEIZER, Ore. — The Everett AquaSox are going to have to wait at least one more day to know if they’ll be playing in the postseason.
The Salem-Keizer Volcanoes scored the game’s first 11 runs, and the AquaSox fell 11-4 Wednesday night in Northwest League play.
Everett would have clinched the West Division’s first-half title and a place in the playoffs had the Sox beat Salem-Keizer and Eugene lost to Vancouver. But Eugene won 3-1, meaning Everett’s lead over the Emeralds is down to 31/2 games with five remaining.
Matt Duffy went 3-for-5 with six RBI, including a grand slam home run, and Raymundo Montero tossed five scoreless innings to lead Salem-Keizer (12-21), which avoided being swept in the three-game series.
Chris Taylor and Taylor Ard each had two hits to pace Everett (24-9).
Everett starting pitcher Victor Sanchez had his roughest outing of the season. The 17-year-old phenom had gone at least six innings in each of his first six starts. However, he lasted just four innings Wednesday, allowing seven runs on six hits and two walks, striking out two. He took the loss to fall to 4-1.
The first five Everett batters of the game reached base, but the Sox got nothing from it as Jamodrick McGruder was picked off second base, Taylor was caught stealing and Everett left the bases loaded.
It was all Volcanoes from there. Salem-Keizer struck immediately in the bottom of the first. Joseph Rapp rolled a single to center, scoring Duffy from second to give the Volcanoes a 1-0 lead.
The Volcanoes then broke it open in the second. Salem-Keizer loaded the bases with nobody out, thanks in part to third baseman Patrick Kivlehan’s throwing error. Then Duffy belted a shot to left-center for a grand slam, his first homer as a professional. The home run gave the Volcanoes a 5-0 advantage.
Salem-Keizer piled it on from there, scoring twice in the fourth, sixth and seventh innings to stretch its lead to double digits.
Everett averted the shutout in the ninth inning courtesy of Janelfry Zorilla’s RBI double, Ketel Marte’s run-scoring single and run scoring grounders by Keith Werman and Taylor Ard.