AquaSox can’t hold lead, series winning streak snapped

Herald staff

PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning for a come-from-behind 5-4 victory over Everett in a Northwest League game at Civic Stadium Sunday.

The loss drops Everett to 12-8 on the season. Portland improves to 11-9 and snapped Everett’s streak of four straight winning series.

Trailing 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth, Portland’s Brian Peck led off the inning with a single. Peck advanced to second on the first of three wild pitches by AquaSox reliever Rett Johnson. A ground ball to second by Brad Hawpe advanced Peck to third. Johnson then threw his second wild pitch, which scored Peck to tie the game at 4.

After a Garrett Atkins double, Jamie Rock reached first on a fielder’s choice. Vern Morency followed with a two-out base hit. The third wild pitch by Johnson advanced both runners, which set up the game-winning hit by Jorge Sosa for the 5-4 win.

Johnson fell to 0-2 with the loss. He pitched the final 2/3 of an inning and gave up one run on three hits.

The AquaSox wasted a strong start by Jose Herrera, who carried Everett for 62/3 innings and gave up three runs on eight hits with a strikeout and four walks.

Portland had a 1-0 lead in the second on Morency’s first home run of the season.

The lead was pushed to 2-0 on catcher Dan Conway’s one-out RBI double that scored Michael Tejada in the fourth inning.

Everett got a run back in the fifth inning on Pelagio Pena’s second home run of the season.

The AquaSox added two more runs in the inning to take a 3-2 lead. Jake Daubert and Miguel Richardson both walked following the home run. Corey Freeman then hit a line drive at right fielder Sosa, who dropped the ball and allowed the tying run to score. Everett took the lead when Richardson scored on a Jamal Strong groundout.

Everett made the lead 4-2 in the seventh inning. After a leadoff double by Pena, Pena scored when a ground ball by Richardson was thrown wide of home on the relay.

The Rockies attempted to come back with a run in the seventh. Atkins, one of the top hitters in the Northwest League, had an RBI single that scored Barmes.

Pena had a successful night at the plate for Everett, going 2-for-4 with a home run and two runs. Richardson had the only other hit for the AquaSox and was 1-for-2 with an RBI.

Tonight’s rubber game of the five-game series will feature right-hander Aaron Taylor (0-1, 16.00 earned run average) of Everett against right-hander Justin Hanson (1-1, 1.06) for Portland in a 7:05 game at Civic Stadium.

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