EVERETT — Austin Grebeck didn’t enter the game until the fourth inning, but the Everett centerfielder made the defensive play of the game as the AquaSox defeated the visiting Hillsboro Hops 4-3 before 3,389 fans Saturday at Everett Memorial Stadium.
Everett reliever Joselito Cano started eighth with a 4-3 lead, but collided with Kristian Brito chasing a popup by leadoff hitter Jason Morozowski.
Morozowski ended up on second base and Cano left the game with an apparent leg injury.
Reliever Lane Ratliff allowed a hit and a walk sandwiched around a strikeout to load the bases with one out. Ramon Hernandez then hit a shallow line drive to Grebeck, who threw a strike to catcher Yojhan Quevedo to cut down Morozowski at the plate and preserve the lead.
The victory snapped a three-game losing streak for second-half North Division-leading Everett (6-3 second half, 24-23 overall). The Hops fell to 6-3 and 25-22.
The AquaSox held a 4-0 lead entering the seventh but Manny Jefferson’s three-run home run to left cut the advantage to 4-3.
David Greer’s solo home run to left-center gave Everett a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third. Greer also doubled before he was lifted for Grebeck in the fourth.
Eric Filia scored Everett’s next two runs thanks to a third-inning sac fly from Donnie Walton and an RBI double by Brito in the fifth.
Walton scored what proved the game-winner in the sixth when led off with a single and scored two outs later on Jose Leal’s single up the middle.
The series continues at 4:05 p.m. Sunday. Ljay Newsome (4-1, 3.82 ERA) will pitch for Everett against Hillsboro’s Junior Garcia (1-1, 6.75).