Saturday night was a Vaudevillian’s dream at Gesa Stadium.
Every Tri-City Dust Devils player who took the field got into the act.
The Dust Devils strung together a season-high nine runs and 14 hits in a 9-0 Northwest League victory over the Spokane Indians in front of 3,204 fans, giving Tri-City its sixth win in the last seven games.
All nine Dust Devils starters either had a hit, drove in a run or scored a run. The pitching was lights out starting with Ben Hughes (1-2), who picked up his first win of the season with a masterful performance. The 6-foot-5 righthander allowed no runs on just two hits over six innings, striking out seven.
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“I was really trying to slow the tempo down and not rush things,” said Hughes, who got some early run support in the second inning thanks to an RBI single from Michael Ramirez and a two-run single from Yafistel Roja.
“It always helps to pitch with a lead. You can just go out and put the ball in play,” he said.
If that wasn’t enough, Eric Federico followed that up with two more shutout innings, extending his scoreless innings streak to 13 over seven appearances.
“If you know he’s coming in behind you, it just gives you confidence,” Hughes said of the fourth-year pro out of Stockton, Calif. “It always helps to have guys like that around.”
Tri-City (11-12) finally gained some ground on Yakima (13-10), which lost 4-0 to Boise to narrow its East Division lead to two games. Spokane fell into a third-place tie with Boise, five games behind the Bears.
You want to talk about streaks? Tri-City had more of those than a High-Rise window in Manhattan.
When the Dust Devils batted around in the bottom of the eighth — scoring six more runs to add to a 3-0 lead — Francisco Sosa came up with a chance to extend his hitting streak to eight games and drive in a run for the seventh straight game. He did just that, lining a double to the wall in left center off reliever Ryan Harvey.
The Dominican native is now 11-for-30 (.367) with six runs and 12 RBIs in his last eight games.
“He’s the one that has stepped up and carried the team. He’s been the guy to go to,” said Tri-City manager Fred Ocasio. “We knew he was a good hitter, and now he’s locked in.”
Sosa wasn’t the only one hitting Saturday. Shortstop Zach Osborne went 3-for-5 with a run scored and an RBI, his third consecutive game with two hits or more.
Catcher Michael Ramirez notched his first three-hit game in two years, going 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles, two runs and two RBIs. But the sixth-year pro out of Venezuela will trade a strong defensive performance for a big night at the plate any day.
He just happened to get both Saturday.
“I felt very good at the plate. I was looking for fastballs,” Ramirez said. “This team feels very different. We’re playing with more emotion.”
Kyle Von Tungeln and Miguel De Leon added two hits, a run and an RBI apiece for Tri-City.
Jose Valdespina (1-3) took the loss for Spokane after giving up three runs on seven hits in five innings.
Notes: Today’s pitching matchups will be RHP Peter Tago (1-3, 8.00 ERA) for Tri-City going against RHP Connor Sadzeck (0-3, 5.28) for Spokane. ... The Colorado Rockies re-assigned SS Rosell Herrera from Modesto to Tri-City. Herrera, a third-year switch-hitter, batted .284 at Casper last season with six homers, eight triples and 34 RBIs in 63 games.