The Everett AquaSox evened their five-game series with the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes Sunday as they won 6-1 in front of 2,493 fans at Everett Memorial Stadium. Frogs' starter Rigoberto Garcia improved to 4-0 by allowing just one run in 5.1 innings.
Reggie Lawson delivered the big hit for the Frogs on a two-run triple in the fourth. DJ Peterson and Justin Seager each drove in runs as well, and Jose Valdivia and Aaron Brooks finished the game with 3.2 innings of scoreless relief.
In the first two innings, the AquaSox made a pair of sparkling defensive plays.
Centerfielder Michael Faulkner got the fun started in the top of the first. Tyler Horan surely had a double into the left centerfield gap, but Faulkner flew over to make a diving catch to end the inning. Not to be outdone, left fielder Phillips Castillo started off the second inning with a diving catch of his own to rob Brian Ragira. The Frogs added a strike-em-out-throw-em-out double to end the fourth.
The AquaSox finally broke through against Joe Kurrasch in the bottom of the fourth. Jack Reinheimer led off with a single to right and stole second on the first pitch to the next batter Justin Seager. Seager hit a ground ball deep into the hole at short that Jeremy Sy gloved but didn't bother to throw to first since Seager was already so far up the line. DJ Peterson followed with a slow roller to third that Ryan Truntland gloved but threw wild, allowing Reinheimer to jog home from third. Two batters later, Reggie Lawson mashed one into the gap in right-center for a two-run triple. Carlton Tanabe drove in Lawson with two outs as he flared a single to right, and the Frogs led 4-0 through four innings.
The AquaSox tacked on another run in the fifth, as they got to Kurrasch with two outs. Seager lined one through the hole in the right side of the infield for a base hit, and Peterson just missed a home run as he drove him in with a double off the top of the centerfield wall.
Garcia was great again for Everett, as he threw five shutout innings before getting the hook midway through the sixth. In all, he gave up one run on five hits in 5.1 innings. He struck out seven while walking just one. Garcia has now won four of his five starts in 2013.
That one run scored in the sixth. The speedy Tyler Hollick beat out an infield single to lead things off and quickly stole second on Garcia. Two batters later, Truntland ripped a base hit to right center and Hollick cruised around to score. That chased Garcia, but Jose Valdivia retired two of the next three batters to end the inning.
Valdivia's defense cost him and helped him in the top of the seventh. After the Nicaraguan walked Sam Eberle, Brandon Bednar hit a hot shot to second. The sharp grounder ate up McGruder and the Volcanoes had two on with nobody out. However, the defense bounced back when next batter Eugene Escalante ripped a liner right into the glove of Seager at first. Seager beat Bednar back to the bag for the double play, and then collected a two-out grounder from Hollick to end the frame.
The AquaSox tacked on another run in the seventh inning. McGruder laced a one out double off the right centerfield wall and Reinheimer was hit by a pitch. Seager then stroked a single into left field to score McGruder before Peterson grounded into an inning-ending double play.
It was a great day for AquaSox pitchers, as Garcia, Brooks and Valdivia combined to strike out ten Volcanoes' batters. Brooks now leads the team in ERA and Garcia is tied for the Northwest League lead in wins.
Everett wraps up their series with Salem-Keizer Monday, and it's another half-price Monday sponsored by Fred Meyer. AquaSox 2013 season and individual game tickets are available now online at www.aquasox.com and by phone at 425-258-3673.