PASCO -Tri-City Dust Devils outfielder Mitsuru Sakamoto entered Thursday’s game with one hit in 21 at bats.
By the end of the Northwest League contest, Sakamoto had two hits, two RBI and scored two runs as he led Tri-City to a 6-2 victory against the Everett AquaSox at Tri-City Stadium.
Sakamoto delivered a back-breaking two-run triple in the seventh inning, which gave the Dust Devils a 5-2 lead.
Sakamoto scored one batter later on a single by Pedro Strop, increasing the Dust Devils’ lead to 6-2.
Tri-City starting pitcher Tomas Santiago struck out three batters and allowed up eight hits to earn his first victory of the season.
Dust Devil relief pitchers Steve Thomas and Jim Miller retired nine of Everett’s final 11 batters.
The AquaSox, who lost for the fourth time in their last 12 games, fell to 14-7 for the season. Everett starter Aaron Jensen, who struck out a season-high six batters, gave up five hits in four innings of work as his record fell to 3-1.
Everett had its chances early in the game, but two close plays at home plate ended two golden opportunities.
In the first inning, Oswaldo Navarro, who reached base on the team’s league-leading 59th double, advanced to third on a Brandon Green single. Navarro was tagged out at the plate on an attempted double-steal with Green.
In the fourth inning, Mike Wilson, after reaching base on a walk, stole second and advanced to third on a Tri-City error. He was thrown out at home after trying to score on a single by Casey Craig.
Everett manager Pedro Grifol argued the close play at the plate and was ejected from the game.