Another beauty of a day here at Gesa Stadium. The game-time temperature was announced at 95 degrees, but I swear it's hotter than that. Looks like the heat might have kept a few people away tonight — including my mom, who usually sits right below the press box —but still a nice crowd.
Have to mention this: Dakota Dufloth gave a rocking rendition of the national anthem. He stepped up with an electric guitar and belted out a face-melting, Jimi-Hendrix-esque version of the Star Spangled Banner. I've heard a lot of people sing the anthem here at Gesa and some of them were very good. This one topped them all. Well done, young man.
Peter Tago (2-5, 5.02 ERA), a former supplemental first-round pick by the Colorado Rockies, gets the start for Tri-City. He hasn't had a real smooth season, but there have been some very bright moments for him. We'll see what version of Tago is in store tonight. He'll be opposed by Boise starter Jose Arias (3-2, 3.56).
Another notable fact tonight is the return of Dust Devils' OF Dillon Thomas, who has been out since June 27 with a broken hamate bone in his hand.
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Boise gets the first run after a leadoff walk in the first comes around to score on a first-pitch single by Stephen Bruno.
Arias has set down the first six Tri-City hitters in a row through two innings.
Tago, on the other hand, is fighting to maintain control but losing the battle. He allowed a one-out single but then induced a nice grounder for the second out. But after that, the wheels started to come off.
Tago walked Bruno and Dan Vogelbach — the Nos. 3 and 4 hitters — back-to-back to load the bases. That brought up Rock Shoulders, who not only has the best name in baseball but one of the most devastating cuts in the Northwest League.
Shoulders jumped on the first pitch from Tago and drove it over the batters eye in dead center field for a grand slam. Only a handful of guys have ever cleared the batters eye here — Joe Koshansky was the last Dust Devils player to do it in 2004.
Game getting away rather quickly. Hawks going for the knockout punch on getaway day.
5-0 Boise after 2 1/2 innings.
Hawks add another in top of fifth off Tago and two more in top of sixth off Carlos Martinez, the new reliever out of the Dominican Summer League.
Boise going for their first road sweep since 2004, and it looks like it's all but in the bag.
Tom Murphy prevents the Hawks shutout with a two-run home run in the ninth off reliever Hayden Simpson.
That's just the second hit off Boise pitching all night.
Game over. Hawks win 8-2.