BOISE, IDAHO --- The Hillsboro Hops set a new franchise record by winning their 49th game, 6-3, on Friday night at Boise Memorial Stadium. Hillsboro (49-24) has the best winning percentage in minor league baseball (.671), Class A and above.
Hops starter Matt Mercer threw four shutout innings, allowing just one hit with no walks and a career-high eight strikeouts. Jackson Goddard made his first relief appearance after a dozen starts, allowing one run over two innings, striking out five and earning his first professional win.
Hillsboro scored in the top of the first inning on a double by leadoff man Jake McCarthy, a stolen base and a wild pitch by Boise starter Pearson McMahan.
The Hops still led 1-0 in the top of the fifth when Keshawn Lynch doubled, McCarthy singled and Geraldo Perdomo had a sacrifice fly to make it 2-0. The next hitter, L.T. Tolbert drove home another run with a base hit.
Boise scored a run off Goddard in the sixth on an RBI triple by L.J. Hatch, and the Hawks had the tying runs in scoring position with one out. Goddard struck out Boise's Danny Edgeworth and Trey Jacobs to keep the 3-1 lead intact.
Hillsboro added three runs in the seventh on an RBI double by Tolbert, a run-scoring wild pitch, and a bases-loaded walk drawn by Lynch.
Hops reliever Yeison Santana worked a scoreless seventh, and Cristofer Ogando worked a 1-2-3 eighth. When Brian Christian ran into problems because of poor defense and a tap single in the ninth --- cutting the Hops' lead to 6-3 --- Chester Pimentel came out of the Hops bullpen to get the final two outs and record his seventh save, all in the last three weeks.
The Hops come home to face Salem-Keizer on Saturday night at 7:05 PM. The radio pregame show begins at 6:35 on Rip City Radio 620 AM and www.RipCityRadio.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.