Erick Leal has struggled in his first season in the Northwest League. The one exception — now two exceptions — are his two starts against the Tri-City Dust Devils.
Leal is 0-2 with an 8.44 earned run average in two starts against the rest of the league, unable to get past the fourth inning either start.
After throwing six solid innings in an 8-3 win Wednesday night at Gesa Stadium, the Boise starter is 2-0 with an ERA of 0.00. He has not allowed an earned run in 11innings against Tri-City. In his other 5 2/3 innings of work, he has given up 15 runs, 10 earned.
Leal’s success sums up Boise’s fate against Tri-City this season. The Hawks are 9-11. However, they are 7-2 against the Dust Devils (8-12). The two teams play their final regular-season meeting today at 7:15 p.m.
In his first start against Tri-City on June 14, Leal went five innings, allowing one unearned run on three hits in a 10-5 victory.
On Wednesday, Leal allowed one unearned run on five hits to improve to 2-0 against Tri-City.
The Hawks' offense has had their way against Dust Devils pitching the last two nights. After erupting for 14 runs on 19 hits Tuesday night, Boise had 12 more hits against five Dust Devils pitchers.
Boise jumped on Dust Devils starter Ryan Warner in the third inning for four runs, three coming with two outs, highlighted by Jesse Hodges' two-run laser over the left-field wall. It was Hodges' third home run in two games. Hodges hit a pair of three-run home runs Tuesday night in the Hawks' 14-3 victory. Hodges finished with two hits and two RBIs.
The Hawks added three runs in the seventh inning on RBI hits from Mark Malave and Giuseppe Papaccio that stretched the lead to 7-1.
Tri-City got on the board in the fifth inning with an unearned run off of Leal. With two outs, Jairo Rosario scooted all the way around from second base on a wild pitch to make the score 4-1.
Dylan Thompson pitched 2 1/3 innings of solid relief for the Dust Devils, yielding just one hit, retiring the last seven batters he faced. Thompson came on for Warner who lasted just 3 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on five hits. He walked four batters.