Eugene reliever Chris Huffman could have located his pitch just about anywhere else against David Bergin and maybe gotten away with it.
But nursing a one-run lead with two outs and a 2-0 count in the eighth inning Sunday, the rookie right-hander put it in the one place Tri-City’s best hitter can’t resist.
Bergin, a four-year veteran, picked on a fastball right in his wheelhouse and blasted it over the wall in left field to give the Dust Devils a 6-4 win over the Emeralds in front of 1,724 fans at Gesa Stadium.
“I got a fastball middle in, and I took control of it,” said Bergin, who went 3-for-4. “I try to hit middle insides if I get them. When I do get them, I try to take advantage. When I hit it, I knew it was gone. ... With this field, you never know, but on that one I feel like I got it.”
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The win broke a two-game losing streak for Tri-City (4-6), which kept pace with the rest of the Northwest League North in a sweep of the South.
Bergin’s homer, his second of the year, capped a comeback win that energized a club that needed a win.
“We did the things we’ve been talking about all year. We’re staying competitive up there, living in the moment. We had the right guy up at the right time,” Dust Devils manager Drew Saylor said.
Bergin drove in four runs and boosted his average to .462. He also added his first career triple — an RBI line drive off the wall in straightaway center — in the first inning.
Tri-City starter Ryan Warner had his best start of the year, allowing just two runs — one earned — on three hits over six innings before Eugene picked up single runs in the seventh and eighth to take a 4-2 lead.
But he attacked hitters with his fastball and for the most part stayed out of trouble. Warner, a third-round draft pick by the Colorado Rockies in 2012, retired the first 10 batters he faced before giving up back-to-back doubles to Franchy Cordero and Jalen Goree in the fourth inning.
Jared McCrummen (1-0) earned his first win of the year with 1 1/3 scoreless innings, and Scott Firth picked up his third save.
Huffman took the loss, giving up four earned runs in just 2/3 of an inning.
Notes: SS Dylan Rabago, the Colorado Rockies’ 13th-round draft pick out of UC-Irvine, arrived in Pasco on Sunday and could make his first appearance during this homestand.
w Jack Millikin; 582-1406; firstname.lastname@example.org