On Dog Day at PK Park in Eugene, the Hillsboro Hops showed their was bite to go with their bark.
L.T. Tolbert went 3-for-4 with two doubles, two runs and two runs batted in and the Hops got another strong finish from their bullpen in a 5-3 victory over the Eugene Emeralds at PK Park Wednesday night.
With their fourth consecutive victory, the Hops (13-7 second half, 37-21 overall) improved to 6-1 on the current 11-game road trip and lead second-place Salem-Keizer by three games in the Northwest League South Division standings, dropping the Emeralds four games back.
Playing in front of a ballpark full of pooches, with occasional doorbell sound effects setting of spontaneous barking throughout the park, Hillsboro manager Shawn Roof barked a little too loudly about the strike zone and was ejected in the fourth inning. The Hops had a 2-0 lead at that point and would later make it 5-0 before the Emeralds made it interesting.
Francis Martinez' two-out, two-run single in the first inning off Eugene starter Zach Mort (0-2) put Hillsboro on the board first. Tolbert drove in two runs with a double in the fifth and scored on a wild pitch giving Hillsboro a 5-0 lead.
Eugene scored all of its runs in the sixth inning on back-to-back RBI singles by Grant Fennell and Luke Reynolds and a wild pitch that scored Fennell.
The Ems had just one base runner the rest of the way as Yeison Santana and Trevor McKenna pitched 1-2-3 innings in the seventh and eighth and Josh Green nailed down his eighth save of the season, retiring three in a row after a leadoff infield hit in the ninth.
19-year-old Harrison Francis (1-0) picked up his first Hillsboro win in his second appearance with three innings of relief, after Jackson Goddard, a third-round draft pick from Kansas, pitched three scoreless innings, allowing only an infield hit and a walk with three strikeouts.
The ejection was Shawn Roof's third of the season and by far his most animated. Roof turned his batting helmet around and went nose-to-nose with home plate umpire Andrew Clark before field ump Jeff Hamann intervened. Before Roof left the field he kicked some dirt on home plate then drew a circle around the dish with his foot, indicating about how wide he felt the strike zone was.
The Hops and Ems wrap up the series at 7:05 p.m. Thursday night, before Hillsboro finishes off the road trip with three games at second-place Salem-Keizer. Live coverage of Thursday's game starts at 7 p.m. on NBC Sports Northwest Rip City Radio 620 AM and ripcityradio.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.