EVERETT — Once again, the Everett AquaSox surrendered five runs before they had the chance to hit.
And, once again, Everett’s comeback effort ultimately fell short in a 7-6 loss to the visiting Salem-Keizer Volcanoes before 3,007 fans Sunday at Everett Memorial Stadium.
“It’s difficult offensively to try to come back and score five or six or seven runs all the time,” Everett manager Jose Moreno said. “That’s something we have to put together, make some adjustments and try to play better.”
On Saturday, the Frogs (9-14) gave up sevens in the first two innings, took a lead with an eight-run third, then gave up the lead late in a 10-8 defeat. On Sunday, Everett tied the game, but never took the lead before the Volcanoes (12-13) surged ahead late for their fourth straight win.
Everett has dropped four straight and five of its past six.
“It’s difficult to come back from that deficit,” Everett utility man Eugene Helder said, “but we’re doing our best to stay focused on the game and just keep adding runs to see if we can get back in the game.”
Helder was a significant part of Everett’s comeback effort Sunday. He finished a home run short of the cycle, scored twice and drove in two runs as he raised his batting average 20 points to .301.
A natural infielder, Helder has spent time in the outfield of late. Fellow utility player Joe Venturino went home to New York after Saturday’s game to attend his mother’s funeral, and outfielder Greifer Andrade had his appendix removed Thursday night and is expected to miss several weeks.
“I’m more comfortable in the infield because that’s my natural position,” Helder said. “I’ve been doing my best in practice to go over everything in the outfield to get more confidence to help the team win some games.”
Errors continued to plague the AquaSox, who committed three Sunday that led to three unearned runs. Starter Oliver Jaskie went two innings and allowed five runs — three earned — on six hits. However, Steven Ridings (1-1) was the hard-luck loser as he allowed four hits and two runs — one earned. He struck out seven in 5 2/3 innings.
“He had a real good outing for us,” Moreno said of Ridings. “He gave us an opportunity to try to come back and try to put something together, but we came up short.”
Salem-Keizer took the lead for good in the fifth against Ridings when Bryce Johnson led off the fifth with a single, stole second and scored on an RBI groundout by Manuel Geraldo. Orlando Garcia later reached on a fielder’s choice and scored on an error in the seventh to push the Salem-Keizer lead to 7-5.
The AquaSox got one back in the eighth when Helder stroked a one-out double and scored when Johnny Adams followed with an RBI double.
“I’m staying more calm at the plate to get more vision of the ball and slow everything down and just get a barrel on the ball,” Helder said. “It’s working out good for me.”
The first inning started eerily similar to Saturday night’s game as the Frogs surrendered five runs before getting their first chance to hit.
Jaskie retired the first hitter, but then came an error, a walk and a home run, from Ryan Kirby, and the Volcanoes led 3-0. Salem-Keizer continued to hit as Juan Rodriguez and Gustavo Cabrera added RBI singles before Jaskie was able to get out of the inning after facing 10 hitters.
Everett got two back in the bottom of the second. Helder led off with a triple and scored on a sacrifice fly from Adams, and with two outs Troy Dixon reached on an error and scored on a Brayan Hernandez double off the wall in center field to cut the deficit to 5-2.
The Frogs tied the game in the bottom of the third thanks to a two-run triple from Evan White, who then scored on a balk.
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