The Everett Aquasox used an 11-hit attack --- which featured five doubles and a triple --- en route to another 6-0 win over the Hillsboro Hops in front of 2,611 at Hillsboro Ballpark on Monday night. The loss dropped the Hops to 4-3 in the second half race (15-30 overall), a game behind first-place Eugene.
The Hops --- playing without hitting star Zach Esquerra, who was placed on the seven-day disabled list, retroactive to Sunday, with a strained oblique --- had just two hits against a trio of Everett pitchers, and they've now gone 19 consecutive innings without a run.
Everett starting pitcher Jake Zokan, a ninth-round draft choice by the Mariners this season, had his best start as a professional, tossing seven shutout innings, allowing two hits, one walk and striking out two. Relievers Nate Koneski and Cameron Copping each worked a perfect inning to complete the shutout.
Hillsboro starting pitcher Jose Martinez left the game after one inning for undisclosed reasons. Blake Forslund worked four innings, striking out seven (matching a single-game high for a Hops pitcher), but he issued a leadoff walk in the fifth to a struggling hitter, Daniel Torres. Everett shortstop Brock Hebert then tripled to the right-center field power alley for the game's first run. Three pitches later, Hebert scampered home as Hops catcher Yosbel Gutierrez threw to first to complete a strikeout.
Everett right fielder Austin Wilson, Seattle's second-round draft pick from Stanford, hit two booming doubles --- one in the sixth, and one in the eighth --- to drive home three more runs.
Hillsboro logged only five hard-hit balls the entire game, three of them by leadoff man Brian Billigen, who was 1-for-3. The only other Hops hit was a loop single to right field by first baseman George Roberts. Gutierrez had his hitting streak broken at nine games, the longest streak by a Hop this season. Hops left fielder Yogey Perez-Ramos' six-game hitting streak also came to an end.
It was the third straight shutout in the series. Hillsboro won 9-0 on Saturday.
The series, now tied at two games apiece, concludes tonight at Hillsboro Ballpark at 7:05. The pregame show begins at 6:35 on Fox Sports Radio 620, and online at www.foxsportsradio620.com. Rich Burk and Matt Richert will call the action.