The Hillsboro Hops defeated the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes 7-2 for their seventh win in a row. The Hops enter the All-Star break red hot at 10-3 since the second half of the season commenced.
Conor Grammes started the game for the Hops and silenced the Northwest League's top offense. The hard-throwing right-hander fanned four Volcanoes over two scoreless innings. Normally a starting pitcher, Deyni Olivero followed Grammes with a scoreless third inning. The righty was tasked with a shorter workload as he will be representing the Hops in the Northwest/Pioneer League All-Star game on Tuesday, August 6th.
The Hops bats continued to flourish early in the game with three runs in the first frame. Jesus Marriaga drove in Ricky Martinez with an RBI fielder's choice to put Hillsboro on the board. Coming off a two-run homer the night before, Andy Yerzy drove in Marriaga and David Garza Jr with a two-run double. The Hops kept their foot on the gas with two more runs in the bottom of the second. Kevin Lachance scored on a wild pitch by Travis Perry, and Garza Jr drove in a run with a ground out to put the Hops up 5-0.
Ethan Larrison preserved the lead tossing a scoreless fourth and fifth inning. The Volcanoes got on the board in the top of the sixth with an RBI by Alex Canario who was a thorn for the Hops in the series. However, it was Salem-Keizer's defense that dealt the final blow when a routine fly ball was dropped by left-fielder Harrison Freed, which allowed Lachance to score the seventh and final run.
Mailon Arroyo pitched a scoreless ninth inning with the help of two exceptional plays by the Hops defense. Ryan January stole a base hit with a diving play in right-center field, and Nick Grande robbed a hit up the middle with another diving catch.
Hillsboro (34-17) wrapped up the seven game home stand with back-to-back series sweeps, and took over the league's top record from Salem-Keizer (32-19). Despite losing three all-stars during this stretch, the Hops exceeded the high level of play their fans have become accustomed to. Hillsboro will resume play on Thursday, August 8th against the Volcanoes in Keizer. Catch all the action on Rip City Radio 620 AM with the game kicking off at 6:35 pm.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.