Relying on pitching and defense for three days out of the All-Star break, the Hillsboro Hops broke out of a hitting slump with an explosive sixth inning.
The Hops' dormant bats came alive with a six-run, six-hit outburst in the sixth inning on the way to a 8-5 win at Tri-City. The win was Hillsboro's third in four days since the break, clinching the five-game series over the Dust Devils.
Down 1-0, the Hops (10-7 second half, 34-21 overall) batted around in the sixth, getting a pair of two-run homers from Joey Rose and Will Gorman and a two-run single from Jake McCarthy. Tri-City reliever Wen-Hua Sung (0-2) was battered for five hits and all six runs in the inning.
Hillsboro built an 8-1 lead before nearly giving it away in the ninth. Chester Pimentel, the Hops' third pitcher in the inning, got the final two outs for his second save of the series, making a winner out of Kenny Hernandez (4-3). The Hillsboro southpaw pitched 4 1/3 innings, allowing one run and no walks with four hits allowed and four strikeouts.
It was not a good night for Taiwan. After Sung's sixth inning struggles, his fellow countrymen Kai-Wei Lin entered the ninth inning for some mop-up duty and gave up two walks and two triples, the second by Tucupita Marcano driving in a pair of runs to make it 8-3. Yeison Santana came in and walked clean-up hitter Dwanya WIlliams-Sutton to load the bases before Blake Hunt hit a grounder into the shortsop hole. Geraldo Perdomo made a diving stop, but had no play as Marcano scored making it 8-4. With the tying run at the plate, Pimentel came in and induced a grounder to first from Justin Paulsen. First baseman Andy Yerzy had the ball glance off his glove but it rolled toward the bag and he stepped on first for the out as Grant Little scored. Saturday night's hero Michael Curry, who hit 13 home runs at Georgia this spring, stepped to the plate with a chance to tie the game, but chased a 1-2 pitch in the dirt for the final out.
Gorman went 3-for-5 with four runs batted in and L.T. Tolbert also had three hits with two runs scored. The Hops outhit the Devils 12-10, by far the most hits for either team in the series.
With Salem-Keizer's loss to Vancouver, the Hops now lead the NWL South Division standings by a game over the Volcanoes.
Hillsboro closes out the series Monday night at 7:15 p.m. Tune in for pregame coverage starting at 7 p.m. on NBC Sports Northwest Rip City Radio 620AM and ripcityradio.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.