Eugene, OR - Four big runs in the first two innings and solid relief work gave the Emeralds a much-needed series opening 4-3 win over the Everett AquaSox in front of 3,314 at PK Park.
It was all started thanks to Brandon Hughes coming up big once again with two-outs. Going 3-for-4 with runners on and two out in his short time with the club, Hughes smacked a line drive to right field to score Zach Davis and moved Gustavo Polanco to third.
A wild pitch scored Polanco and gave the Ems (17-13) a 2-0 lead. In the second, Austin Filiere was hit-by a pitch to lead things off and then stole second and was moved to third after a Rafael Narea single.
Davis grounded into a fielder's choice as Filiere was thrown out at home before Aramis Ademan crushed a line drive double to right field, scoring Narea and Davis and made it 4-0.
Ems starter Jose Albertos (1-0, 2.70 ERA) hit his first rough patch with the Ems in the third after a one out triple by Chris Torres. Albertos almost got out of the inning unscathed but Eugene Helder singled and made it a 4-1 game.
The AquaSox (12-18) would get closer in the fifth after a lead-off single by Aaron Stroosma and a one-out single by Torres set Joseph Rosa up for an RBI opportunity.
Rosa did not disappoint, scoring Stroosma on a single before Helder grounded into a force out and scored Torres and made it 4-3.
Albertos would get out of the inning and hand things over to his bullpen after going five innings and giving up three runs on five hits and two walks with four strikeouts while earning his first win of the year.
A trio of pitchers would shut the door on the AquaSox the rest of the way, giving up just one more baserunner. Andry Rondon threw a perfect two innings with two strikeouts while Elvis Diaz walked one batter and struck out another pair. Jake Steffens got his first save of his career after working a perfect ninth.
The Ems will play game two of the five game set on Sunday at PK Park at 1pm for Fake News Night. Get your tickets online at emeraldsbaseball.com or calling the box office at 541-342-5367, and that is not fake news.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.