EVERETT — With every new pitcher the Everett AquaSox sent to the mound, the results got better and better.
The Frogs didn’t need a whole lot of offense Wednesday night against Vancouver. That’s because starting pitcher Randy Bell and relievers Clay Chandler, Chris Castellanos and Matt Clancy were rolling.
Everett got back-to-back homers from Greifer Andrade and Onil Pena, and Frogs pitchers limited Vancouver to eight hits and struck out 11 batters during their 3-1 series-opening win at Everett Memorial Stadium.
Bell threw the first three innings while yielding the Canadians’ only run. Chandler threw two innings of two-hit ball; Castellanos covered three innings, only gave up one hit and struck out four; and Clancy struck out the side in the ninth to earn the save. Everett struck out the final six Canadians hitters, and didn’t allow a runner to reach third base after the second inning when Vancouver scored its only run.
The win for Everett (14-14 second half, 30-35 overall) comes after dropping two of three at Vancouver.
Samad Taylor drove in Riley Adams with a two-out, RBI single line drive to right field that gave the Volcanoes a 1-0 lead in the top of the second.
But with two pitches Andrade and Pena gave Everett a 2-1 lead a half-inning later with back-to-back homers. Andrade led off the bottom of the second with a line-drive shot over the left-field wall, and Pena followed with a towering homer over the wall in right-center. Those two runs proved enough with Bell, Chandler, Castellanos and Clancy pitching.
Andrade added another run in the bottom of the fourth by taking advantage of some Vancouver defensive miscues. Andrade reached on an error by third baseman Mattingly Romanin before advancing to second on a pitch in the dirt. Andrade then moved up to third on a groundout and eventually scored on a passed ball to extend the Frogs’ lead to 3-1.
The solid pitching performance came on a good night for Everett, as the Frogs managed only four hits. Vancouver starter Juan Nunez threw six innings, giving up three hits while striking out eight, but the deep flies by Andrade and Pena did enough damage.