AquaSox hope to break out of slump after anemic offensive showing

Everett returns home to face Hillsboro after being shutout in the final 3 games of its series against Vancouver.

Bryce MIller

Bryce MIller

When the Everett AquaSox return home for the first time in more than two weeks Tuesday they’re not just looking to end a losing streak, they’re hoping they can score a run.

A dismal series against the Tri-City Dust Devils ended in anemic fashion as the Sox were shut out in the final three games of their six-game series in Pasco.

Everett won just once in the six-game series, a 2-1 extra-inning affair in the opener. After that the Sox lost five straight, and Everett hasn’t crossed home plate in 27 consecutive innings after dropping the final three games of the series by scores of 8-0, 4-0 and 1-0.

The final loss was the most painful. The game was scoreless heading into the ninth, and Everett got the speedy Victor Labrada to second with one out in the top half of the inning, only to be unable to advance him further. Then the Dust Devils won it in the bottom half on Gabe Matthews’ walk-off single.

“We just didn’t hit many balls hard this past series,” Everett manager Eric Farris said. “I have to give credit to the Tri-City pitching staff, they were locating it well and keeping hitters off balance. We had some opportunities we weren’t able to cash in. We’re still battling and getting some guys on base, giving ourselves opportunities for a useful timely hit. It just didn’t work out that way for us.”

The numbers during that shutout string aren’t pretty. The Sox batted just 17-for-93 (.183) in those three contests, and they managed just a single extra-base hit: Myles Miller’s fifth-inning triple in Sunday’s 1-0 loss. Everett batters had more than twice as many strikeouts (35) as they had hits (17).

Everett has struggled in clutch situations throughout the season, batting just .172 with runners in scoring position. But the real issue for the Sox during their shutout string was just getting runners into scoring position in the first place, as Everett had just 11 chances in the three games.

“The series started off well with and exciting extra-inning win,” Farris said. “After that it was a tough series. We were up against, if you go by the numbers, a pretty good pitching staff. In general we didn’t have much offense this last week of games. Being that it was a long road trip and we were coming off a pretty decent series in Vancouver, we’re obviously disappointed we didn’t come out with more wins. A couple of the games were tight, it was just a couple of plays here or there that made the difference. All we can do is keep working on the process and trying to improve.”

The rough series against Tri-City dropped Everett’s record to 11-21, and the Sox remain in last place in the six-team Northwest League. Vancouver is the only other team in the league below .500, and at 14-15 the Canadians are just a half-game away from breaking even.

Stars of the week

Hitter: Tyler Keenan. It may not have been a good week for Everett’s bats, but Keenan did what he could to try and spark the offense. The 23-year-old corner infielder, who was selected by the Seattle Mariners in the fourth round of the 2020 draft, batted .357 with a .900 OPS over the course of four games, including driving in what proved to be the winning run in the top of the 11th inning of the Sox’s 2-1 victory last Tuesday.

Pitcher: Bryce Miller. No one cam blame the 23-year-old right-hander, who was Seattle’s fourth-round pick in the 2021 draft, for Everett’s woes last week. Miller started two games and allowed just one unearned run on five hits and no walks over 11.1 innings, striking out 17 as he was particularly successful with his slider. That continues a fantastic season in which he’s compiled a 0.96 ERA and 0.64 WHIP in five starts with 37 whiffs in 28.0 innings.

The week ahead

Everett is hoping a return home following two weeks on the road is what’s needed to get back on track. The Sox host a six-game series against the Hillsboro Hops beginning Tuesday at Funko Field.

Hillsboro, an affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks, has won four straight to move into a tie with Eugene for first place in the Northwest League. Hillsboro doesn’t have a star-studded roster — third baseman A.J. Vukovich, who’s ranked No. 8 by MLB.com among Diamondback prospects, is the only player among the organization’s top 14 who’s on the team.

The Hops, much to Everett’s chagrin, have been succeeding mostly because of their pitching, with right-hander John Carver (1.91 ERA, 33 strikeouts in 28.1 innings) leading the way. Hillsboro allowed Spokane just four runs during its current four-game winning streak.

Talk to us

More in Sports

Silvertips’ Niko Huuhtanen and Giants’ Jaden Lipinski fight for the puck during the playoff match up against the Vancouver Giants on Saturday, April 23, 2022 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Silvertips will look to replace Huuhtanen in CHL import draft

The standout forward who scored 37 goals this past season recently signed a professional contract to play in Finland.

FILE - UCLA guard Jaime Jaquez Jr., right, tries to get by Southern California forward Isaiah Mobley during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game on March 5, 2022, in Los Angeles. UCLA and Southern California are planning to leave the Pac-12 for the Big Ten Conference in a seismic change that could lead to another major realignment of college sports. A person who spoke to The Associated Press on Thursday, June 30, 2022, on condition of anonymity because the schools' talks with the Big Ten have not been made public said the schools have taken steps to request an invitation to join the conference. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)
UCLA, USC leaving Pac-12 for Big Ten

The two schools announce they will be exiting the Pac-12 in 2024 in a major blow to the viability of the conference.

Seattle Mariners' Carlos Santana helps Cal Raleigh at home after they scored against the Oakland Athletics during the fifth inning of a baseball game, Thursday, June 30, 2022, in Seattle. Raleigh hit a two-run triple and scored on a throwing error. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)
Rodriguez, Raleigh lead Mariners over Athletics

The young standouts each come up with big hits in Seattle’s 8-6 victory over Oakland.

AquaSox's manager, Louis Boyd, Funko Field at Everett Memorial Stadium in Everett on July 28, 2019. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
AquaSox pitchers fan 19 in win over Emeralds

Alberto Rodriguez adds a two-run blast in Everett’s 4-3 victory.

The roof-top sign for Climate Pledge Arena is shown next to the Space Needle, Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, ahead of the NHL hockey Seattle Kraken's home opener Saturday against the Vancouver Canucks in Seattle. The historic angled roof of the former KeyArena was preserved, but everything else inside the venue, which will also host concerts and be the home of the WNBA Seattle Storm basketball team, is brand new. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Seattle to host NBA preseason game between Blazers, Clippers

Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell declined to comment on any recent conversations with NBA officials about expansion to the city.

Evergreen Speedway remains closed due the stay-at-home order while NASCAR will run it's first race since the pandemic began on Sunday. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Community roundup: Evans tops podium at Mark Galloway Shootout

Also, EvCC athletes named All-American, Tulalip native signs with MLB organization and more.

Seattle Seahawks running back DeeJay Dallas (31), wide receiver Cade Johnson (88), and wide receiver Aaron Fuller (13) walk off the field after NFL football practice Wednesday, June 8, 2022, in Renton, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Seahawks announce training camp registration date for fans

Fans must register through the team’s website starting Wednesday at 10 a.m.

Seattle Mariners' Julio Rodriguez rounds the bases after hitting a two-run home run against the Baltimore Orioles during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, June 29, 2022, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Caean Couto)
Rodriguez hits 12th home run, Mariners topple Orioles

Seattle tops Baltimore 9-3 for its seventh win in the past nine games.

Dallas Wings' Kayla Thornton, front left, and Marina Mabrey, right, defend as Phoenix Mercury center Tina Charles (31) shoots in the second half of a WNBA basketball game, Friday, June 17, 2022, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Storm sign former MVP Tina Charles

The 33-year-old center joins a roster that now has 4 former No. 1 overall picks.

Most Read