Opponent: Eugene Emeralds
When: 7:05 p.m.
Where: Everett Memorial Stadium
Radio: KRKO (1380 AM)
Probable starters: Everett left-hander Steve Uhlmansiek (2-0, 0.47 ERA) vs. Eugene right-hander Matt Buschmann (2-1, 3.24)
The Everett AquaSox had a difficult time with the bats in recent days. But one constant for Everett on offense this season has been speed, and the Sox used that speed to full effect in the Saturday victory that finally got their offense back on track.
Not only did Everett steal three bases in the 8-1 victory over Eugene, the AquaSox also used speed in two non-stolen-base plays that were crucial during the decisive five-run fifth inning.
First, Everett took a 2-1 lead when Gavin Dickey raced home on a wild pitch. The ball took a good bounce off the backstop for catcher Luany Sanchez, but Dickey still managed to slide head first into home, under the tag of pitcher Jon Kirby.
“I was ready to go and happened to get a good jump,” Dickey explained.
Three batters later, Gregory Halman dumped what seemed to be an RBI single into left. But Halman never stopped at first and turned it into a double by beating the throw to second.
That gave the Sox a 3-1 lead and runners at second and third with one out, a situation that was paid off when Manelik Pimentel followed with a two-run single to right.
“(In recent games) we’d had guys coming up with runners on first and second and two out, and that puts pressure on the hitter,” Everett manager Dave Myers said. “But Halman did a good job of being aggressive on the bases and hoofing it to second. That gave us runners on second and third with one out, and that takes pressure off and allows the hitter to do things.”
Job opening: The promotion of closer Brian Kappel to Wisconsin of the full-season single-A Midwest League leaves the AquaSox with a hole to fill at the end of the bullpen.
Kappel was stellar in his three weeks in the role. He recorded five saves in his seven appearances and didn’t give up an earned run, striking out 16 in 91/3 innings.
His success was the reason he was promoted.
With Kappel gone, there’s no designated replacement, at least not yet.
“I’ve got 17 guys to choose from,” Myers said. “We’ll see who steps up to that role. (Kameron) Mickolio and (Joe) Kantakevich and (Ari) Kafka, (Steve) Richard is active now, (Andrew) Fiorenza, there’s a variety of guys that might step up and take that role. We’ll see who wants to do that job.”
Based on their performances so far, Mickolio appears to be the leading candidate. Going into Sunday’s game the 6-foot-9 right-hander had yet to give up a run in five appearances.
Not yet: Everett left-handed reliever Saydel Beltran was eligible to return from the seven-day disabled list Sunday, but he hadn’t been activated yet.
Beltran was placed on the disabled list retroactive to July 4 for undisclosed reasons, thereby missing Everett’s trip to Canada for its three-game series at Vancouver.
The Cuba native was expected to return when eligible.
Nick Patterson, Herald writer