Frogs come back to win home finale

EVERETT — The Everett AquaSox made sure to close the home portion of their schedule with a performance to make their fans happy.

Northwest League West Division leading Salem-Keizer kept it close with two home runs, but Everett used timely hitting in a six-run fourth inning and got a mostly solid performance from Robbie Dominguez in long relief to take the rubber match against the Volcanoes in come-from-behind fashion before 2,529 fans on Fan Appreciation Day at Everett Memorial Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

“They have a very good team,” Everett manager Jose Moreno said of Salem-Keizer. “They’ve battled to be in the playoffs and it was a real good win to take from them.”

But on Sunday it was Dominguez who battled after entering the contest sans warm-up time after Nolan Gallagher was ejected for hitting Johnny Monell in the fourth inning.

Dominguez was nearly flawless for 3 1/3 innings, striking out three before running into trouble in the eighth. He surrendered a leadoff walk and a single, then Jose Flores picked a good time to hit his first home run of the season, a three-run shot over the right-center field fence to cut the AquaSox’ lead to 7-5.

“I was just trying to throw strikes and get ahead and stay ahead and give the team a chance to come back and get it,” Dominguez said. “The infielders, (shortstop Anthony) Phillips, everybody did a real good job today backing me up…I just tried to keep the ball in play. That last inning I just got a little tired, but it’s all I can do.”

Javier Martinez came in to relieve and recorded the final five outs for his fourth save of the season.

The three-home run was the only damper on an otherwise effective performance for Dominguez.

“He was aggressive,” Moreno said. “The key was his command. Sometimes he has problems with his control but today he was ahead in the count and was able to throw pitches in and out so it was a real good performance for him.”

Dominguez was the beneficiary of the six-run fourth inning that included a two-RBI double from Phillips and two-RBI single from Brandon Fromm.

That inning erased the two-run lead Salem-Keizer built in the second with a two-run homer from Monell.

Fromm led off the fourth with a double and scored on a bases-loaded walk to Ryan Royster. Phillips followed with a double down the left field line to score Ben Billingsley and Fleming Baez and chase Volcanoes starter Ari Ronick.

After a walk to Tyson Gillies, the AquaSox got another run on an RBI groundout by Luis Nunez. Manelik Pimentel followed with an intentional walk before Fromm blooped a single into no-man’s land in short left field for his second hit of the inning to score Phillips and Gillies for a 6-2 lead.

“(The) hitters did a great job today I thought,” Dominguez said. “Phillips did a great job, he’s the one that stood out to me. He got a good base hit when we needed it, with the bases loaded. He’s been hitting real good lately. I tip my hat to him.”

Pimentel connected for a solo home run leading off the bottom of the seventh, his second of the season. That gave Everett a 7-2 lead, setting up Flores’ home run in the eighth.

The AquaSox head to Eugene to take on the Emeralds at 4:05 p.m. today, the first of a three-game set to conclude the regular season.

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