An interesting pitching matchup tonight. Taylor Cole, the Vancouver starter, has given up just one earned run in 35 innings heading into this start. The Las Vegas native is 3-0 with a 0.26 ERA.
Tri-City starter T.J. Oakes (1-1, 4.12 ERA) is coming off his first professional victory, where he pitched six strong innings in a 3-2 home win over Yakima last week.
Something else to watch is Tom Murphy's hitting streak, which stands at 19 games. The Colorado Rockies' short-season record is 23 games, set by Charlie Blackmon with the Dust Devils in 2008. The Northwest League record is 26, set by xxxx in xxxx.
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Oakes sets Vancouver down 1-2-3 in the first, but Tri-City starts in on Cole right away. Leadoff man Kyle Von Tungeln beats out a grounder to second for an infield single, and Rosell Herrera draws a seven-pitch walk.
Murphy then bounces a 1-2 pitch back up the middle for an RBI single, giving Tri-City a 1-0 lead and pushing his hitting streak to 20 games.
Sosa, the No. 4 hitter, drives a ball into left center field to bring in Herrera to make it 2-0. Sosa misread the outfielders though and got caught trying to extend a single into a double, getting beat by a good five steps on a good throw from Dwight Smith Jr. The good news was Murphy advanced to third on the play to get in scoring position.
Matt Argyropoulos blasts a ball to deep center field with one out. Ian Parmley tracks it down for the Canadians, but Murphy scores easily to make it 3-0.
So in one inning, the Dust Devils add 74 points to Cole's ERA, which goes from 0.26 to 1.00.
But things turned sour in a hurry for Tri-City, which gives up a run in the top of the second and five more in the top of the fifth.
The twilight is a beautiful thing to look into. That is unless you are an outfielder playing at Gesa Stadium. Francisco Sosa gets it bad tonight. He loses two balls in the night. One was just a foul ball, but if he catches it, it might have limited some of the damage.
The second one would have been a tough play anyway, but he didn't see it off the bat at all.
Paired with an error by Herrera to lead off the inning, it was a perfect storm of bad breaks that went all Vancouver's way.
I guess it's best to have it all happen at once.
Vancouver leads 6-3 after five.
Dust Devils get one back in the bottom of the sixth. Murphy leads off the frame with a walk and scores on a double down the left-field line by Sosa.
The Canadians aren't done yet, either. They get two more in the seventh and two more in the ninth to win it 10-4.
Ugly game, but still a series win overall.
They'll try to put this one out of their mind and move on to Eugene.