Having freshly returned from a season-long nine-game roadtrip, the Eugene Emeralds (9-12) looked sluggish in the team's first home game in nearly two weeks, falling to the Everett AquaSox, 13-4, in front of 5,015 at PK Park on Thursday night.
Eugene entered the day recently removed from what was a mostly-forgettable roadtrip, the team's longest since the 2012 season. Eugene posted a 2-7 record during their long foray from home but did finish their excursion around the Northwest with back-to-back wins.
However, Everett quickly quieted any hopes the Ems had of making it three wins in a row.
The visiting AquaSox wasted no time in taking the game's first lead, jumping out to a 1-0 advantage in the top of the first thanks to a Trent Tingelstad sacrifice fly that scored Utah Jones.
One inning later, the AquaSox added three more, starting with a bases-loaded bloop single by Cesar Izturis Jr. that dropped in front of Emeralds outfielder Jose Gutierrez to score Robert Perez. After Emeralds started Yunior Perez netted back-to-back strikeouts to put Eugene one out away from escaping the inning mostly unscathed, Austin Shenton hit a sharp line drive single to right field that allowed Cash Gladfelter and Cade Marlowe to score and extend Everett's lead to 4-0.
In the fourth inning, the AquaSox broke the game open. The visitors tallied a total of six runs in the frame, highlighted by an Austin Shenton RBI triple, a bases loaded walk issued to Robert Perez, and a Cash Gladfelter bases loaded, bases clearing triple.
After Carter Bins made it 11-0 with an RBI sacrifice fly to score Austin Shenton in the fifth, the Emeralds snapped the shutout in the sixth. Chase Strumpf, the Chicago Cubs 2nd round pick in the 2019 MLB Draft that had joined the team just hours earlier, delivered his first hit and RBI as an Emerald, a double down the left field line that scored Fernando Kelli. One batter later, Jake Slaughter brought home Edmond Americaan from third thanks to a soft grounder to first base, making it 11-2.
The AquaSox offense was heard from once more in the top of the ninth. With Emeralds catcher Danny Zardon on the mound aiming to get the Ems over the finish line, DeAires Moses sent his second home run of the season over the short fence in right field, a two-run blast making it 13-2.
Not to be outdone, the Ems answered with a two-run homer of their own. Making his 2019 Eugene debut after recently joining the team on a rehab assignment from South Bend, Jose Gutierrez blasted a two-run shot over the left field fence, his first round tripper of the season.
That proved only a minor feather in the cap of the Emeralds after a humbling 13-4 defeat in front of 5,015 fans at PK Park.
Eugene now looks to bounce back on Friday night when they host the AquaSox in the second game of a four-game series. Friday night will see the first 1,000 fans that enter through the home plate gates receive a unique Rally Squatch Bobble-Butt, presented by Carl's Jr. and KMTR NBC 16.
You can find the full promotional schedule for the 2019 Eugene Emeralds season by visiting www.EmeraldsBaseball.com.
Tickets to Emeralds home games are on sale now at www.EmeraldsBaseball.com or by calling (541) 342-5367.
Stay up to date with the Emeralds by following the team on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.