PORTLAND, Ore. – For the second straight night, the Everett AquaSox lost their lead and lost by a run in a 2-1 Northwest League setback to Portland at Civic Stadium.
Portland’s Garrett Atkins hit a one-out solo home run in the bottom of the eighth inning to break a 1-1 tie and lift the Rockies to the win.
The home run was the fourth of the season for Atkins. All four have come against Everett.
Everett has lost four of its last five games and has struggled offensively in that stretch. Including the team’s one run and two hits on Monday, the AquaSox totaled only 10 runs and 19 hits in the five-game series at Portland.
Starting pitcher Aaron Taylor pitched his best game of the season for the AquaSox. Taylor threw 52/3 innings and held Portland to one run on three hits with six strikeouts, all season bests. He lowered his earned run average nearly six points from 16.00 to 10.43.
Kevin Olore relieved Taylor in the sixth inning and finished well for Everett, but picked up his first loss of the season. He struck out three and the only hit he allowed was the game-winning home run.
Justin Huisman improves to 3-1 with two innings of no-hit relief for the Rockies. Huisman struck out four.
Everett led 1-0 in the fifth inning when Manny Crespo hit a sacrifice fly that scored Jamie Bubela. Bubela had singled, then stole second and third to get into scoring position.
The Rockies came back to tie the score in the sixth inning. Everett’s Taylor hit both Brad Hawpe and Josh Pride before Vern Morency hit a single that scored Hawpe.
Bubela was 1-for-2 with two stolen bases for Everett. Pelagio Pena had the only other AquaSox hit, a double in the seventh.
Atkins, the Northwest League’s sixth-leading hitter, was 2-for-4 including the game-winning home run. Morency was also 2-for-4 and knocked in the other Portland run.
Everett returns to Everett Memorial Stadium on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. game against Salem-Keizer. Right-hander Tony DeJesus (2-0, 0.00 ERA) will start for Everett against Volcanoes right-hander Erick Johnson (0-0, 0.00).
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