Kaden Polcovich and the AquaSox have won five of six games in each of their last three series. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Kaden Polcovich and the AquaSox have won five of six games in each of their last three series. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

AquaSox weekly update: Red-hot Sox continue to roll

First-place Everett has won 15 of its last 18 and has increased its run differential to plus-179.

The red-hot Everett AquaSox just keep on rolling.

The AquaSox won five of six games against the Eugene Emeralds on the road this past week at PK Park, turning a series between the High-A West’s top two teams into a one-sided affair.

Everett outscored Eugene 54-23 over the six games. After dropping the series opener, the AquaSox won the final five games by a combined 51-14 margin.

Everett has won 15 of its last 18 contests, having gone 5-1 in each of its last three series.

With another victory-filled week, the AquaSox (39-19) extended their lead atop the six-team High-A West to 5.5 games over second-place Eugene and 10 games over third-place Vancouver.

A LOOK AT THE SOX’S DOMINANCE

Here are some stats that illustrate just how dominant Everett has been this season:

  • The AquaSox have a plus-179 run differential. That’s 181 runs better than the next-closest team in the High-A West. Each of the league’s other five teams have a negative run differential.
  • The AquaSox have outscored opponents by an average of 3.1 runs per game.
  • The AquaSox are averaging 7.1 runs per game. The next-closest team in the High-A West is Eugene at 5.2 runs per game.
  • The AquaSox have scored double-digit runs in 16 of their 58 games. They’ve scored at least 13 runs nine times.
  • The AquaSox have scored 15-plus runs five times. To put that in perspective, they reached the 15-run mark just three times over the previous eight seasons combined.
  • The AquaSox lead the High-A West in every major offensive statistical category: batting average (.268), on-base percentage (.379), slugging percentage (.460), home runs (65), triples (19), doubles (151) and runs (414).
  • The AquaSox are allowing just 4.1 runs per game. The next-closest team in the High-A West is Spokane at 4.7 runs allowed per game.
  • The AquaSox have a 3.52 earned-run average. The next-closest team in the High-A West is Spokane at 4.22.

KIRBY ON A TEAR

Over his last three starts, George Kirby has struck out 39.4% of the batters he’s faced. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Over his last three starts, George Kirby has struck out 39.4% of the batters he’s faced. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

AquaSox right-hander George Kirby continued his recent success with another standout performance Saturday night.

The Seattle Mariners’ 2019 first-round draft pick pitched seven strong innings, allowing just one run and four hits. He struck out 11 of the 25 batters he faced and yielded only one walk.

Kirby has a 1.50 ERA over his last three starts, having surrendered just three earned runs in 18 innings over that span. He’s struck out a whopping 39.4% of the batters he’s faced in those three starts, with 28 strikeouts and just four walks.

Kirby, ranked by MLB.com as the No. 72 overall prospect in baseball, has a 2.56 ERA in 38 2/3 innings this season. He has a 32.5% strikeout rate, with 50 strikeouts and just eight walks.

ELLIOTT, STOUDT, BRASH SHINE TOO

Tim Elliott, photographed earlier this season, had one of his best outings of the year last week. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Tim Elliott, photographed earlier this season, had one of his best outings of the year last week. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Kirby wasn’t the only AquaSox starting pitcher with a strong outing this past week. Here’s a look at some other notable performances from Everett’s talented rotation:

Tim Elliott: After struggling through his worst outing of the season the week prior, Elliott bounced back with one of his best on Friday. The 2019 fourth-round draft pick allowed just two runs and three hits in eight innings, while posting eight strikeouts and only one walk.

Levi Stoudt: Stoudt, a 2019 third-round draft pick who’s ranked by MLB.com as the No. 12 prospect in the Mariners’ organization, struck out 10 batters and walked none in eight innings last Thursday. He allowed four runs and eight hits.

Matt Brash: Brash continued his strong season last Wednesday, striking out 11 of the 25 batters he faced over 5 2/3 innings. He allowed two runs, five hits and three walks in the outing. Brash, a 2019 fourth-round draft pick by the San Diego Padres, has a 2.55 ERA in 42 1/3 innings this year. He has a 33.9% strikeout rate, with 62 strikeouts and 25 walks.

ELLINGSON, ARIAS ARE LIGHTS-OUT IN THE ‘PEN

David Ellingson and Dayeison Arias have been excellent out of the bullpen for the AquaSox.

David Ellingson: The 26-year-old right-hander pitched two more scoreless innings this past week, extending his streak to 16 2/3 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run. Aside from two earned runs on May 15, he hasn’t yielded an earned run in any of his other 14 appearances this season. Ellingson has a 0.77 ERA in 23 1/3 innings this year, along with a 0.90 WHIP (walks plus hits per innings pitched) and a .188 opponents’ batting average. He also has a 33% strikeout rate, with 30 strikeouts and just five walks.

Dayeison Arias: After a bit of a rough start to the season, Arias has been exceptional of late. Over his last seven appearances, the 24-year-old right-hander from the Dominican Republic has allowed just one run, three hits and one walk in 10 1/3 innings. He has struck out a whopping 22 of the 36 batters he’s faced over that span, while posting a 0.39 WHIP and .088 opponents’ batting average.

STANDOUTS AT THE PLATE

Kaden Polcovich, photographed earlier this season, went 9-for-18 with three triples in this past week’s series against Eugene. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Kaden Polcovich, photographed earlier this season, went 9-for-18 with three triples in this past week’s series against Eugene. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

The AquaSox scored double-digit runs in four of the six games against Eugene this past week. They batted a combined .287 with 31 extra-base hits, including 10 home runs. Here are some of the many Everett hitters who performed well in the series:

Kaden Polcovich: The 2020 third-round draft pick was named the High-A West player of the week for the second time this season after going 9-for-18 in the series with three triples. He extended his hitting streak to seven games and raised his batting average to .274. He ranks fourth in the High-A West in on-base percentage (.413) and is tied for fourth in slugging percentage (.497).

Zach DeLoach: The 2020 second-round draft pick and reigning High-A West player of the month went 8-for-25 in the series and hit a home run. DeLoach, the Mariners’ No. 11-ranked prospect, is second in the High-A West in batting average (.305) and seventh in slugging percentage (.489).

Jake Anchia: The 24-year-old catcher has struggled at the plate this season, both with the AquaSox and with Double-A Arkansas. But he had a nice series this past week, going 5-for-16 with two home runs and two doubles.

Patrick Frick: The High-A West batting leader had another productive series, going 8-for-26 with one home run and three doubles. The 24-year-old shortstop leads the league in both batting average (.310) and on-base percentage (.442).

Connor Hoover: After a rough start to the season, Hoover is riding a 13-game hitting streak. The 24-year-old third baseman went 7-for-23 in the series with one home run and two doubles.

Jack Larsen: The 26-year-old outfielder went 7-for-24 in the series with three doubles and 11 RBIs. He ranks third in the High-A West in batting average (.296) and fifth in on-base percentage (.411).

Austin Shenton: The Bellingham High School alum and 2019 fifth-round draft pick went 7-for-25 in the series with two home runs and two doubles. The Mariners’ No. 17-ranked prospect leads the High-A West in extra-base hits (33) and is second in slugging percentage (.528) and sixth in on-base percentage (.407).

Cade Marlowe: The 24-year-old outfielder went 6-for-24 in the series with two home runs and three doubles. Since being promoted from Low-A Modesto in mid-June, Marlowe is batting .250 and slugging .512, with three homers, two triples and nine doubles.

HANCOCK SCRATCHED FROM FUTURES GAME

Emerson Hancock was scratched from participating in the MLB All-Star Futures Game because of a reported minor shoulder injury. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Emerson Hancock was scratched from participating in the MLB All-Star Futures Game because of a reported minor shoulder injury. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

AquaSox right-handed pitcher and 2020 first-round draft pick Emerson Hancock was scratched from participating in the MLB All-Star Futures Game, the annual showcase of baseball’s top prospects that took place Sunday in Denver.

MLB.com’s Daniel Kramer reported last Monday that Hancock was scratched because of a minor shoulder injury, but doesn’t have any structural issues.

“Just a conservative management decision as we continue to build his workload,” Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto said in a text message, according to Kramer. “We expect he’ll be back in the mix coming out of the (All-Star) break.”

Hancock, ranked by MLB.com as the No. 23 overall prospect in baseball, has posted a 2.42 ERA in 26 innings over the course of seven starts this season for the AquaSox. He has 25 strikeouts and 11 walks.

Hancock hasn’t pitched in Everett’s last two series. His last start was on June 25.

NEXT UP

The AquaSox return home to Funko Field for a six-game series against last-place Tri-City that’s set to run Tuesday through Sunday. Everett is 11-1 against the Dust Devils this season, having outscored them by a combined 110-33 margin.

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