PASCO -- Like a chef putting together a stew, the Tri-City Dust Devils used a little bit of everything during a four-run, seventh inning rally in Tuesday's 6-3 win over the Yakima Bears.
A walk, a stolen base, an error, a balk, a passed ball, a dropped third strike and a wild pitch added plenty of spice to the mix with the Dust Devils trailing the Bears 3-2 in the seventh.
But the main ingredient -- Jared Simon's two-out, three-run home run to left field -- was what fed the crowd of 1,712 fans at Gesa Stadium and allowed Tri-City to remain in first place in the Northwest League East Division.
It wasn't the prettiest win ever, but sometimes you have to take what the opponent gives you, and the Dust Devils did just that against the Bears.
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"We figured (the seventh inning) was our chance to win. You've got to take advantage," said Simon, who finished the game 2-for-2 with two runs and three RBIs.
The 6-foot-1 right-hander out of Tampa University is 8-for-18 (.444) in his last six games and has eight RBIs in his last four games.
But it took a while to set the stage for Simon, a sixth-round draft pick by the Colorado Rockies in 20010.
The Dust Devils took a 2-0 lead in the second inning after Simon walked and scored on Tim Smalling's RBI triple to left center. Smalling then came in on a wild pitch by Yakima starter Teo Gutierrez.
Yakima got a few nibbles against Tri-City starter Vianney Mayo, who toughed his way through six innings, allowing just two runs on five hits to keep his ERA under 2 at 1.87. But the Bears took the lead in the seventh when first baseman Tyler Massey dropped what would have been the third out of the inning on a good throw across the diamond from shortstop Smalling. Instead, the error allowed David Narodowski to score from second and gave Yakima a 3-2 lead, putting reliever Craig Bennigson on the hook.
But Tri-City found some magic in the bottom half of the seventh. Leadoff hitter Jaron Shepherd swung at a 1-2 pitch from Bears reliever Miles Reagan that caught part of his hand. He left the game as a precaution, and pinch-hitter Leonardo Reyes inherited the 1-2 count.
Reyes, who led the 2010 Dust Devils with 25 walks, drew a base on balls, took second on a wild pitch and then advanced to third on a balk by Reagan. The next batter, David Hernandez, reached on an error as Reyes held at third. After Hernandez stole second, Brian Humphries struck out, but the ball got away from catcher Steven Rodriguez and Humphries made it to first on the dropped third strike.
A passed ball by Rodriguez scored Reyes to tie the score at 3, and Yakima manager Audo Vicente brought in Drew Zizinia to replace Reagan. It almost worked, as Zizinia set down the next two batters to bring Simon to the plate.
Simon fell behind 0-2 but then took advantage of a mistake by Zizinia, who challenged Simon with a fastball and paid the price.
"Normally, that's an offspeed count, but he threw me a pretty good pitch to hit," Simon said.
From there, Tri-City sent in left-hander Ken Roberts to finish the game. Roberts struck out two in the ninth to earn his fourth save. Bennigson (1-2) picked up his first win of the year, allowing two hits and an unearned run in two innings.
"That might have been fun for you, not for me," Tri-City manager Fred Ocasio said. "Today you saw it all. That's not exactly the way we drew it up. I'm just glad we got the win."
NOTES: Today's pitching matchup: Tri-City RHP Ricardo Ferrer (0-3, 5.22 ERA) vs. Yakima LHP Adam Kudryk (1-3, 3.34).