EVERETT – Josh Ford broke a 12th-inning tie with a sacrifice fly, and the Yakima Bears defeated the Everett AquaSox 9-8 Tuesday night in a Northwest League game.
Everett (32-23) had its five-game winning streak snapped and was unable to take advantage of West Division-leading Vancouver’s 8-4 loss at Spokane. The AquaSox remained four games back.
Yakima improved to 23-32.
In a game before 3,269 fans at Everett Memorial Stadium that lasted 4 hours, 26 minutes, Jeff Flaig, Luis Valbuena and Ronnie Prettyman all homered for the second straight game for Everett. For Valbuena it was the fourth straight game with a homer.
Jaen Centeno homered for the third straight game for Yakima.
Everett twice rescued itself from the brink. Prettyman hit a solo homer with two out in the bottom of the ninth inning to tie it up at 7-7 and force extra innings. Then after Yakima took the lead on Leyson Septimo’s RBI single in the top of the 11th, Mike Saunders led off the bottom half with a solo homer to center to tie it again at 8-8.
The homers were Prettyman’s fourth and Saunders’ fifth of the season.
Yakima’s Garrett Bauer earned the win, pitching the final three innings to improve to 1-0. David Asher took the loss to fall to 0-2.
Five coaches and players were ejected from the game.
For Everett, manager Pedro Grifol, coach Jim Horner and reliever Edgar Guaramato were all ejected. Grifol was tossed in the top of the sixth inning, arguing that Brandon Burgess should have been called out at first base when he was seemingly picked off by catcher Brian Schweiger. Guaramato and Horner were ejected in the eighth after Guaramato hit Derek Bruce with a pitch.
For Yakima, reliever Chris Thompson and manager Jay Gainer were ejected in the 10th after Thompson plunked Flaig.
Everett starting pitcher Harold Williams had an up-and-down night in his AquaSox debut. The lanky lefty showed some pop on his fastball and struck out three in four innings. But he also gave up five runs on five hits and four walks and did not figure in the decision.
The AquaSox grabbed the lead in the bottom of the first inning, Flaig smacking a two-run homer to center to give Everett a 2-0 lead. The homer was Flaig’s sixth of the season.
The Sox doubled their lead in the second thanks to Valbuena. Valbuena lined a two-run shot over the scoreboard in right-center increasing the lead to 4-0 with his 11th of the season.
Yakima got on the board in the third. First, Lester Contreras smacked an RBI double off the left-center wall. Then with the bases loaded and one out to score one run. Then with the bases loaded and one out, Josh Ford grounded to Flaig at first. Flaig was poised to go home with the throw, but then bobbled the grounder and was forced to get the out at first, allowing a run to score to make it 4-2.
Everett put another run on the board in the bottom of the third, but the Sox could have scored more. With runners at second and third and one out, Alex Gary singled to left through a drawn-in infield to score a run. However, Reed Eastley was thrown out at the plate by Brandon Burgess to keep the score at 5-2.
Yakima got that run right back in the fourth when Centeno led off by crushing a ball over the left-field fence to make it 5-3. The homer was Centeno’s eighth of the season.
The Bears then surged ahead in the fifth. The first six batters reached against Willams and reliever Roman Martinez, and doubles by Burgess and Trey Hendricks, and a single by Septimo drove in one run apiece. Guaramato then came on and retired the next three batters, but a fourth run scored when Valbuena at second caught a line drive and threw it away trying to double Septimo off first, giving Yakima a 7-5 advantage.
Everett got back within one in the sixth when reliever Kyler Newby walked Valbuena, threw two wild pitches, then balked Valbuena home. However, with a runner on third and nobody out, Newby pitched himself out of the jam without the run scoring, keeping Yakima ahead 7-6.
In what turned out to be a key play, Gary, playing left field, threw Hendricks out at home to end the top of the ninth and leave the score 7-6.
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