Eugene OR - After scoring 12 runs in the first three games of the series, the Eugene Emeralds exploded for 11 in game four on Sunday, quelling the Tri-City Dust Devils 11-2 and snapping a 2-game losing streak in front of 2,931 at PK Park.
From the very beginning the Ems (14-17, 27-41) seemed to be in total control, smacking back-to-back doubles to lead off the inning by D.J. Artis and Nelson Velazquez to make it 1-0 after just eight pitches. Dust Devils (14-16, 32-36) starter Adrian Martinez (3-5) got the next two batters out before Jonathan Sierra hit the third double of the inning, scoring Velazquez and giving the Ems a 2-0 lead.
Tri-City looked like they would not only get on the board, but potentially tie it when they got three straight one-out singles off of Ems starter Yovanny Cruz (1-0). Cruz got out of the jam with a double-play to end the inning, after which the Ems promptly rewarded him with a one out Velazquez home run, his ninth of the season.
Cruz kept fighting off the Dust Devils in his five innings of work by giving up just four hits and collecting five strikeouts, earning his first NWL win.
The Dust Devils finally got on the board in the top of the sixth when Cruz was replaced by Stephen Ridings. Ridings gave up back-to-back doubles to start the inning to Tucupita Marcano and Blake Hunt to make it a 3-1 game.
A wild pitch moved Hunt to third before Riding walked Michael Curry. After a mound visit, Ridings settled and he got a double-play and a soft ground out to end the inning. The Ems responded in turn, by scoring three more runs.
After a strikeout started the bottom of the sixth, Eugene collected three straight singles by Sierra, Andy Weber, and Fernando Kelli, with Sierra scoring to make it 4-1 and runners advancing on the throw. A Caleb Knight sacrifice fly brought home Weber before Luis Vazquez singled up the middle to score Kelli.
Tri-City once again attempted to come back scoring in the eighth off Ethan Roberts after a triple from Marcano set Curry up for a groundout RBI. Eugene once again responded, this time with five runs of their own.
Weber and Kelli singled to open the bottom of the inning before Knight walked to load the bases. Vazquez hit a ball to Kelvin Alarcon at third, but Alarcon froze and could only get the out at third. Artis grounded into another force out, beating out the back end of a double-play.
Velazquez walked before pinch hitter Levi Jordan stepped up and delivered a two-out singled to right center, scoring Knight. Grant Fennell then got in on the action, crushing a ball to right center that just missed going over the wall. Instead it bounced away from Tre Carter, letting Fennell get to third with a bases clearing triple and making it an 11-2 game.
Sean Barry finished the game, allowing just one walk and one strikeout in the ninth.
The deciding game five, and final regular season home game, will begin at 7:05 pm on Monday. Tickets are still available and can be purchased at the Box Office or online at Emeraldsbaseball.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.