In the spirit of Christmas, the Hops offense was the gift that kept on giving Friday night. On Christmas in July Night, the Hops hung a 15-spot on the Spokane Indians, marking the second time they have eclipsed 15 runs in the last four games. They also set a new franchise record for most runs scored at Ron Tonkin Field, with 15.
The damage started early, when shortstop Yan Sanchez launched a lead-off triple into the left center gap, his league leading sixth of the year. Right-fielder Bryan Araiza immediately knocked him in with an RBI single.
The real fun kicked off in the 3rd inning, when the Hops scored five runs off Spokane starter Luis Lopez, chasing the righty after 2.2 innings, seven hits, and six earned runs. Araiza led it off with a triple and RBI singles from third baseman Eudy Ramos, catcher Daulton Varsho, and second baseman Ryan Grotjohn.
Connor Grey settled in -- and he settled in quickly. He went seven shutout innings with six punchouts while scattering seven hits, and allowing no walks. The biggest threat Grey faced came after a Melvin Novoa triple to right center field.
The doors came off in the 5th, when left fielder Connor Owings and Grotjohn smacked back to back two run doubles to extend the lead to 10-0. Ramos decided he wanted to get back in on the action and launched a 2-run home run over the left field fence.
The Hops offense has been beyond electric over the last seven games, scoring 65 runs. During this 7-game win streak, the dominant offense has been backed by equally-solid pitching, outscoring opponents by a tally of 65-27.
After falling to 15-14 one week ago, the Hops have improved to a season high eight games over .500 and moved themselves into first place in the first half pennant race in the Northwest League. The Hops are a game up on Eugene with two games to play.
The Hops look to continue the hot streak tomorrow at 5:03 pm at Ron Tonkin Field. Pregame radio begins at 4:30. Catch the game on MILB.tv and Rip City Radio 620 AM.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.