AquaSox fall to Salem-Keizer 8-1

EVERETT — The Everett AquaSox were about as hot as the weather Friday night at Everett Memorial Stadium.

But perhaps it was only fitting that this dismal performance began the final home series of a dismal 2008 campaign for the 30-41 AquaSox, who have now lost eight of their past 11.

On a dreary, wet night at Everett Memorial Stadium, the AquaSox managed just six hits while the Northwest League West Division-leading Salem-Keizer Volcanoes pounded out 14 hits en route to the 8-1 victory.

“Today we didn’t have anything together,” said Everett manager Jose Moreno. “Offensively we didn’t hit real well and we also had some problems with our pitching.”

Everett’s pitching proved a stark contrast to the one-run, seven-inning outing turned in by Everett starter Aaron Brown on Thursday night. Friday’s starter, Doug Salinas, was gone after 41/3 innings and relievers Christian Staehley and Marquis Pettis could barely control the bleeding as Everett pitchers allowed the Salem-Keizer leadoff batter to reach in six of nine innings.

What’s more, Everett’s play seemed to follow the weather patterns as Salem-Keizer broke through onto the scoreboard in the top of the third inning, just as the rain burst into the stadium. By the time the rain let up in the fifth, only about half of the paying 1,688 fans in attendance were left and the AquaSox were down 7-0.

Salem-Keizer got to Salinas — sporting the number 34 and his delivery looking very much like fellow Venezuelan Felix Hernandez — with two outs in the top of the third. Salinas retired the first two Volcanoes hitters via a flyball and a strikeout before the trouble started.

Salinas, who looked somewhat uncomfortable and out-of-sync as the rain increased, allowed consecutive singles to Conor Gillaspie and Francisco Peguero. Mike Loberg followed with a walk before Jose Flores brought home Gillaspie and Peguero with a full-count line drive up the middle.

“The weather is something we have to play with — that’s something that’s never going to change, especially in this area,” Moreno said. “That’s an adjustment we have to make but that’s no excuse. We didn’t play well and that’s why we lost.”

Things only got worse for Everett from there as the Volcanoes added another run in the fourth and four in the fifth as Staehley allowed all three inherited runners and one of his own to score in relief of Salinas.

The Volcanoes tagged Staehley for another run in the seventh when an RBI-groundout by Eliezer Zambrano plated Bond, who led off with a single.

Meanwhile, Salem-Keizer starter Wilber Bucardo cruised through five innings of four-hit baseball before being lifted for Eric Stolp in the bottom of the sixth.

Stolp pitched four innings of two-hit, one-run ball to pick up the save.

The AquaSox didn’t get on the scoreboard until the bottom of the ninth. Ben Billingsley walked and Manelik Pimentel followed with a single. Billingsley scored on a wild pitch for the AquaSox’ only run, and in a cruel end to the night, Pimentel was tagged out for the final out as he tried to score from third on Stolp’s second wild pitch of the inning.

Bucardo picked up the win to improve to 6-6.

Salinas fell to 1-7, that loss tying him with Yakima’s Houston Summers for the league lead.

The two teams resume their series at 7:05 p.m. today at Everett Memorial Stadium.

Peguero led the attack with four hits and two runs scored, but Trebelhorn downplayed Salem-Keizer offensive output.

“We were fortunate … we got a lot of infield stuff and our hit-and-runs worked pretty well,” he said. “We were opportunistic which we have to be because we’re way down in power numbers. We don’t hit home runs.”

Pimentel had three hits, Wellington Dotel had two, and Jharmidy De Jesus had one for Everett.

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