The Tri-City Dust Devils proved there’s still some fighting spirit left in them during a 7-6 Northwest League loss to Boise on Friday in front of 3,135 fans at Gesa Stadium.
It just may not be enough for a playoff run.
Tri-City (27-35 overall, 9-15 second half) fell seven games behind NWL East Division leader Boise (28-33, 16-9), which leads second-place Yakima (11-13) by five games.
The Dust Devils took a 1-0 lead in the second inning when Derek Jones scored on one-out RBI grounder by Anthony Aguilera. Jones’ double snapped an 0-for-18 slump and was his team-high 12th of the year.
That lead didn’t hold for long, as Boise scored two runs in the top of the third off Tri-City starter Ben Hughes (3-5), who allowed seven runs on 10 hits through five innings. The Hawks added a four-spot in the top of the fourth, getting three in one swing of the bat from leadoff hitter Stephen Bruno, whose three-run home run made it 6-1.
Boise got another in the top of the fifth to push the lead to 7-1 before the Dust Devils scraped together three runs in the bottom of the fifth to cut the lead to 7-4. A two-run double by Rosell Herrera brought Tri-City within 7-6 in the bottom of the seventh.
Tri-City missed an opportunity to tie the score in the seventh, however, when Herrera held at third on a wild pitch by Hawks reliever Su-Min Jung that bounced to the backstop.
Hawks left-hander Michael Heesch (1-1) got the win after tossing two scoreless innings in relief of starter Justin Amlung, who gave up a run on three hits in two innings.
Eddie Orozco picked up his fifth save with two scoreless frames to end the game.
Notes: Saturday’s starters will be RHP Peter Tago (2-5, 5.02 ERA) for Tri-City and RHP Jose Arias (3-2, 3.56) for Boise. ... Francisco Sosa snapped a 10-game hitting streak, going 0-for 5 with an RBI, but stole his 19th base in the bottom of the fifth. He is second in the NWL to Jamodrick McGruder of Everett, who has 24.