After being bamboozled by bullpens the last three nights, a trio of Hillsboro Hops relievers spun some magic of their own Thursday night against Eugene.
Kyler Stout, Trevor McKenna and Wesley Rodriguez combined to pitch five scoreless, one-hit innings as the Hops blanked the Emeralds 4-0 at Ron Tonkin Field, snapping a three-game losing streak while evening the three-game series at a game apiece.
Jose Caballero's two-run triple in the third inning gave the Hops all the runs they would need. Jorge Perez reached base twice and scored two runs for Hillsboro. The Hops' center fielder also made a spectacular diving catch with a runner on third to close out the first inning.
Kyler Stout struck out the side in the fifth inning after taking over for starting pitcher Matt Tabor. Tabor--a 19-year-old former 3rd-round draft pick out of Milton Academy in Massachusetts--was more effective in his second start of the season. Tabor fanned two and walked none over four innings, surrendering four hits while pitching out of jams in the first three frames.
Stout, the all-time saves leader at Oral Roberts, fanned two more batters in the sixth and was credited with the victory, allowing only an infield hit to Ems' slugger Nelson Velasquez. McKenna retired six straight batters with three punchouts before Wesley Rodriguez pitched a hitless ninth. Eugene had just two baserunners in the final five innings and did not have a hit leave the infield.
Faustino Carrera, who pitched six shutout innings for Eugene on opening night Friday against Vancouver, was charged with the loss after giving up two runs on three hits in four innings with three strikeouts and two bases on balls.
The Hops and Emeralds close out the series with the rubber match Friday night at 7:05 p.m. Barring any unforeseen delays for the Oregon State Beavers at the College World Series in Omaha, Friday's game will air live on NBC Sports Northwest Rip City Radio 620 AM with the pregame show beginning at 6:35 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.