Pitching, defense lift Frogs over Rockies

PORTLAND, Ore. – Everett rallied for three runs in the sixth inning to come from behind and beat Portland 3-1 Saturday in a Northwest League game.

Tight pitching and tough defense aided Everett’s struggling Everett offense and secured the win.

The AquaSox (12-7 overall), who scraped together two runs and eight hits the first two games of the Portland series, managed just three runs and six hits Saturday, but got a great outing by starter Roy Wells.

Wells pitched six innings and gave up one run on six hits and struck out seven in his first win of the season.

Relievers Tony DeJesus and John Butler stymied the Rockies (10-8) and left no room for a comeback.

Two key defensive plays in the fifth inning also played a major role in the AquaSox’s victory. Both were plays at the plate that kept the Rockies from scoring.

Josh Pride hit a ground ball that deflected off Wells, who then chased down the ball, picked it up and threw to first. Vernand Morency tried to score from second base on the play and was thrown out at home by Brett Higgins.

Then with two outs, Jamie Bubela threw out Kevin Blocker at the plate when he tried to score on Clint Barmes’ single.

Portland starter Jermaine Van Buren had a solid start until he gave up the three AquaSox runs in the sixth. Van Buren lasted 51/3 innings and allowed the three runs on three hits and walked a batter.

Reliever Nick Webb got Portland out of the sixth inning mess and threw 22/3 innings one one-hit ball. He struck out four.

The Rockies took a 1-0 lead in the fifth inning when Kevin Blocker hit a two-out single that scored Jorge Sosa. Sosa had led off the inning with a walk.

In Everett’s three-run sixth inning, Blake Bone walked with the bases loaded to bring in the first AquaSox run. Wilfredo Quintana then hit a ground ball to third baseman Bryan Peck, who threw wide of home. The errant throw allowed both Jamal Strong and Bubela to score.

Corey Freeman broke out of a 0-for-20 slump with a 2-for-3 night. He hit a double and scored a run for Everett. Strong was 1-for-3 with a run.

Brad Hawpe led Portland’s offense, going 2-for-3 with a double. Blocker was 1-for-4 with an RBI.

Today’s game is at 2:05 p.m. at Civic Stadium with right-hander Jose Herrera (1-1, 3.18 earned run average) for Everett going up against Portland right-hander Chris Buglovsky (0-0, 0.00).

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