AquaSox win rain-shortened game

EVERETT — It looked as though Nolan Gallagher was in line for the Northwest League’s first, and most likely only, complete game of the season.

Leave it to the stat heads to spoil the fun.

Gallagher’s apparent weather-aided complete game was nullified by a scoring ruling, so he merely had to settle for the victory in the Everett AquaSox’s rain-shortened 4-2 triumph over the Vancouver Canadians on Tuesday night at Everett Memorial Stadium.

Gallagher was in line for a five-inning complete game when Tuesday’s game was delayed, then ultimately called in the top of the sixth.

However, rather than reverting to the final completed inning, Minor League Baseball ruled that all statistics counted up to the point where the game was called. Therefore, reliever Chris Kirkland, who was on the mound when the game ended in the sixth, was credited with a two-out save.

That didn’t bother Gallagher who, when it appeared he had thrown a complete game, shrugged off the feat.

“I guess it’s all right,” the right-hander said. “It doesn’t really count, though. That’s surprising to hear that (it was the league’s first complete game). But I’ll take it, it’s a win.”

Jharmidy DeJesus supplied all the offensive support Gallagher needed, homering and driving in three runs for the Sox (29-39), who pulled one game ahead of Vancouver (28-40) in the race to stay out of the West Division cellar. Brandon Fromm added two runs for Everett.

David Thomas and Dusty Coleman each had two hits to pace Vancouver.

Gallagher overcame the steady soft rain, allowing two runs on six hits and three walks. He struck out two in improving to 1-1.

“You know, I actually prefer pitching when it’s raining because you don’t really think about being wet the whole time,” Gallagher said. “It was muddy a little, but most of the time I was able to get a grip on the ball.”

But Gallagher could have been stuck with the loss if not for DeJesus. Everett was trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the fourth when DeJesus greeted Vancouver reliever Ken Smalley by belting a three-run shot high into the night sky and over the left-field fence, giving the Sox the lead for good.

It was further evidence that the 18-year-old hot prospect from the Dominican Republic is beginning to adjust to the Northwest League. After destroying the pitching in the rookie Arizona League, DeJesus strugggled making contact in Everett. But he’s 5-for-8 in his last three games, has hits in six of his last eight, and has homered in two of his last three.

“His focus is much better,” Everett manager Jose Moreno said of his young ward. His approach is completely different because he was in Arizona, it’s his first year in the states, he’s just 18 years old and he’s a fastball hitter. Over here there’s a lot of breaking pitches, so he’s had to make an adjustment. Right now it looks like he has a better hitting plan and he’s getting good contact.”

Vancouver starter Michael Hart suffered the loss to fall to 0-2. The righty gave up three runs on three hits and two walks in 31/2 innings, striking out four.

Vancouver took the lead in the top of the first when Thomas popped a liner over the head of right fielder Dennis Raben. Raben gunned down Thomas at second, but J.D. Pruitt scored on the hit to give the Canadians a 1-0 lead.

The Sox gave up another run in the second when Gallagher walked Pruitt with the bases loaded to force in a run, but escaped further damage when the Canadians left the bases loaded.

Everett got on the board in the bottom of the second when Ryan Royster’s groundout scored Fromm from third, making it 2-1.

Short hops: Members of the Mill Creek Little League team that played at the Little League World Series will be in attendance tonight and be part of throwing out the first pitch. … Who’s hot? Sox outfielder Tyson Gillies went into the night sporting a 17-game hitting streak, the third-longest in the league this season. He was batting .397 during the streak, raising his season average to .318. … Who’s not? Sox infielders Ben Billingsley and Anthony Phillips are struggling. Going into Tuesday’s game Phillips was 1-for-27 in his past 12 games and Billingsley was 1-for-23 in his past seven.

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