Eugene, OR - Despite being out hit 9-6 and going 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position, the Emeralds put enough offense together to back a solid pitching performance and even the series with the Tri-City Dust Devils with a 5-2 win in front of 3,382 at PK Park.
Scoring first for the time this homestand, the Ems (12-11) got a big night from their fourth hitter Gustavo Polanco. In the second inning, Polanco hit a soft line drive down the right field line, holding up just enough to have right fielder Luis Asuncion dive for the ball.
Asuncion missed the catch and Polanco was off to the races as the ball went to the wall, giving him a stand-up triple to lead-off the inning. Austin Filiere drove a ball to deep center to score Polanco and give the Ems a 1-0 lead.
They would add to that lead in the third inning when, after a Jhonny Bethencourt single and Aramis Ademan walk, Bethencourt broke for third. Tri-City starter Henry Henry (0-3, 4.91 ERA) threw a ball in the dirt and had it bounce away from the catcher Chandler Seagle.
Bethencourt scored easily and Ademan moved to third. A sharp lineout by Miguel Amaya brought up Polanco, who singled to left field and scored Ademan, making it a 3-0 game.
The Dust Devils (13-10) were shut down against Ems starter Alonso Garcia (2-0, 3.38). the 19-year old righty threw five innings and gave up just three hits and a walk while striking out three. It was his third straight game throwing five innings and second where he gave up no runs, the other game also coming at home.
Garcia was relieved by Holden Cammack in the sixth and the Dust Devils jumped on him almost immediately. A Luis Almanzar double was sandwiched between a pair of ground outs when things got hairy for Cammack. Two walks to load the bases allowed Bryant Aragon to single back up the middle and score a pair to make it a 3-2 game.
Manager Jesus Feliciano would relieve Cammack after the hit, giving him 0.2 innings pitched with two runs, walks and hits, opting to bring in left hander Andin Diaz.
Diaz got a ground out to end the inning, but got into a jam in the third after a wild pitch put runners on second and third with two out. Diaz got Aldemar Burgos to strike out swinging to end the inning.
Before that a scary moment took place in the seventh when Almanzar struck out swinging and, on his back swing, struck the Ems catcher Amaya on the head. He was down for several moments before getting up and walking off under his own power.
"It was a scary situation, but talking with James (Edwards) our trainer it thankfully wasn't too serious," Feliciano said after the game.
The Ems would add to their lead in the bottom of the seventh after Tolly Filotei singled to lead it off. Bethencourt then came up and placed a perfect bunt down the line. Seagle had to rush to make the throw but threw it away, allowing Filotei to score and Bethencourt to go to third.
Two quick outs later, Gustavo Polanco came up and struck out swinging, but the ball bounced away once again, allowing Bethencourt to score and Polanco to get to first.
Luis Aquino would pitch the final two frames for the Ems, earning his fourth save of the year, striking out three batters and getting a soft fly ball to end the game.
The Ems will play game three of the five game set on Saturday at PK Park on Bachelor Night . Get your tickets online at emeraldsbaseball.com or calling the box office at 541-342-5367.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.