The Tri-City Dust Devils always enjoy dishing out a little something special for the hometown fans at Gesa Stadum.
They did that Tuesay night during a 14-3 Northwest League loss to the Boise Hawks, pulling off a rare triple play to get out of trouble in the fourth inning.
But with the Dust Devils six games back in the North Division standings, they would probably rather trade in a memorable loss for a nice, boring win any day of the week and twice on Sunday.
The Hawks had something special in store, too — just not for the 1,422 fans in attendance. They put the hurt on five Tri-City pitchers, hammering out 19 hits to pull into a tie for third-place in the South Division.
Jesse Hodges had a career night, swatting a pair of three-run home runs for six RBIs, and teammate Daniel Canela continued his offensive assault on Tri-City pitching with another four-hit night.
The highlight of the night, though, was the triple play. With runners on first and second and nobody out in the fourth, Mark Malave — who had already grounded into a double play to end the first inning — grounded a 2-1 pitch from Dust Devils starter Tyler Gagnon to Shane Hoelscher at third base.
Hoelscher stepped on the bag at third and whipped a throw over to Sam Bumpers at second. Bumpers’ throw to first was high, nearly drawing Josh Fuentes off the bag at first, but Fuentes made the good stretch to convert the triple play.
It was the first triple play at Gesa Stadium since the Dust Devils turned one in a 6-4 win over Eugene on August 3, 2005, when Philip Cuadrado caught a line drive with runners on first and third, stepped on third for the second out and then threw to Michael Paulk at first to get the third out.
Dust Devils starter Tyler Gagnon (0-3) took the loss, although he wasn’t the one who took the biggest hit on the mound. Gagnon allowed three runs in 4 1/3 innings, leaving the game trailing by just two runs at 4-2.
Tyler Ihrig (2-0) got the win for Boise, giving up two runs over six innings.
The Hawks didn’t really start rolling until the top of the eighth, when they sent 11 batters to the plate and scored seven runs off three Tri-City pitchers.
William Waltrip started the eighth for the Dust Devils and allowed three straight singles before Huascar Brazoban came in to try to help out. He allowed an RBI bloop single to Malave and then a three-run homer by Hodges.
Evan DeLuca gave up a two-run blast by Jeffrey Baez to end the scoring in the eighth. By the time the inning was over, Boise had turned a 4-2 lead into an 11-2 thrashing.
Hodges tacked on three more runs with another three-run blast off DeLuca in the ninth.
Hoelscher was one of four Dust Devils with at least two hits, joinging Francisco Sosa, Marcos Derkes and Chris Rabago.
Notes: Today’s pitching matchups will be Tri-City RHP Ryan Warner (1-0, 2.65 ERA) facing Boise RHP Eric Leal (1-2, 8.44 ERA).