No ninth inning heroics necessary this time.
The Hillsboro Hops (7-3 first half, 31-17 overall) overcame an early 4-2 deficit with five unanswered runs in a 7-4 win over the Vancouver Canadians (5-5, 24-24) in game two of their five-game series Thursday night in front of 3,004 at Ron Tonkin Field.
On a night where the Canadians and Hops combined for 13 extra-base hits, the C's concentrated five of them in the first two innings off Hillsboro starter Matt Mercer. But the Hillsboro bullpen bailed out the former Oregon Duck, who gave up four earned runs on six hits after having allowed no earned runs over his first six Hillsboro starts.
Leading 4-2, the Canadians greeted Hillsboro reliever Trevor McKenna (2-1) with a Jesus Severino double to lead off the third inning. But McKenna retired the next nine batters to face him and fellow bullpen mates Ryan Miller, Chester Pimentel and Josh Green merely followed suit.
While the Hillsboro pen set down 16 straight Canadian batters, the Hops mounted their comeback. With the bases loaded and one out in the fourth inning, Jorge Perez hit a grounder to first that could have potentially ended the inning, but the ball caromed off Jake Brodt's glove and everyone was safe as Francis Martinez scampered home. Jake McCarthy followed with a sacrifice fly to center field to plate Ryan January tying the game at 4-4.
Andy Yerzy led off the fifth inning with a line drive home run to right off starting pitcher Jose Espada (2-4) to give Hillsboro a 5-4 lead . Espada, second in the NWL in strikeouts and several other pitching categories, battled uncharacteristic wildness, walking four batters in five innings. He walked the first three batters he faced in the first inning before Francis Martinez delivered a two-out, two-run double to put Hillsboro on the board. Espada surrendered five runs, three earned on six hits and struck out four.
The Hops added insurance runs in the seventh and eighth innings. Geraldo Perdomo belted his first NWL homer more than halfway up the netting in right leading off the eighth inning and Will Gorman hit his second triple of the night--the last of a half-dozen extra-base hits by the Hops---to lead off the eighth, later scoring on a Connor Law wild pitch.
Josh Green pitched a scoreless, hitless ninth inning to notch his sixth save
Perdomo and Yerzy each scored two runs for Hillsboro and Martinez had a pair of hits with a run scored and an RBI.
Seven of Vancouver's eight hits were doubles with Brodt and Otto Lopez each hitting two. Lopez scored two runs and Bryan Lizardo went 2-for-4 with two runs batted in.
Game three of the series is at 7:05 p.m. Friday night with pregame coverage starting at 7 p.m. on NBC Sports Northwest Rip City Radio 620 AM.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.