Today's pregame included a moment of silence for Paul Bargas, a former Tri-City Dust Devils pitcher who died Tuesday night after battling brain cancer. He was 23.
He played here in 2009, going 3-1 with a 1.59 ERA in 13 games, helping lead the Dust Devils to the East Division title.
It was a nice tribute to a good man, who despite his short time here on earth, lived a very full life.
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RHP Ben Hughes (0-1, 1.64 ERA) gets the start for Tri-City, while LHP Alex Carreras (2-0, 1.50) will go for Yakima. Carreras is a native of Havana, Cuba, having defected to the Dominican Republic in 2010 before signing a $400,000 free-agent contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks in December of 2011.
Carreras not off to a great start tonight, though. He hits the first two Dust Devils batters, Charlie Blackmon and Dillon Thomas, who then execute a double steal to put runners at second and third with nobody out.
Incredibly (and maybe typically), Tri-City gets nothing out of it. Matt Argyropoulos strikes out, and Francisco Sosa hits a weak groundout to third that kept the runners in place. Miguel De Leon walks to load the bases, but Robert De La Cruz grounds into a force play at second to end the first inning.
Argyropoulos having a tough time in the field lately. He committed his fifth error of the season with one out in the second, booting a routine grounder. That's pretty much a repeat of yesterday, when he misplayed a ball from the leadoff batter in the first. Of course, he redeemed himself yesterday with a double play ball and the go-ahead home run in the eighth.
Sure enough, Argyropoulos comes back with a couple of heads up plays. He hit a two-out double to the right center field wall in the third, went to third on an infield single by Sosa and then scored on a double steal.
That's cool. Now Argyropoulos, who isn't exaclty known for his blazing speed, can tell his grandkids that on a cool summer night in 2012, he was credited with a steal of home.
Then, in the top of the fourth, he made a nice defensive play, grabbing a screaming line drive off the bat of Joe Loftus for the second out in the fourth. But nobody can catch up to Poma's hard single up the middle to make it 3-1 Yakima.
Hughes not getting hit that hard, but the Bears are stringing a lot of hits together. Yakima gets four consecutive singles in the top of the fourth to tie the score at 1 before Poma gave Yakima a 3-1 lead.
Hughes still appears to be throwing a lot of strikes. I've got him with 80 pitches through five innings — 56 of them strikes. That's a good ratio, but maybe he's just not locating that well.
Dust Devils get a run in the bottom of the fifth after a leadoff double by Blackmon and then an RBI single from Sosa to cut the lead to 3-2.
But Yakima adds to its advantage in the top of the sixth, getting three runs off three hits off reliever Josh Hungerman. Argyropoulos committed another error with one out. That runner came around to score, but Blackmon took a horrible route to a ball in center that led to two more runs.
Bears lead 6-2 after six.
Not much is going right for Tri-City tonight. Or for the last two weeks, for that matter.
The Dust Devils find some life in the eighth, scoring three runs to narrow the gap to 6-5. Sosa drew a leadoff walk, took second on another walk to De Leon. Another double steal put them on second and third before De La Cruz popped up to first. Alec Mehrten scored Sosa with an RBI grounder to third, and De Leon scored on a wild pitch to make it 6-4.
Aguilera singled to right and took second on a walk to Yafistel Roja. Then Blackmon blooped an RBI single over second base to cut it to 6-5.