The Everett Aquasox used an 11-hit attack --- which featured five doubles and a triple --- en route to another 6-0 win over the Hillsboro Hops in front of 2,611 at Hillsboro Ballpark on Monday night. The loss dropped the Hops to 4-3 in the second half race (15-30 overall), a game behind first-place Eugene.
The Hops --- playing without hitting star Zach Esquerra, who was placed on the seven-day disabled list, retroactive to Sunday, with a strained oblique --- had just two hits against a trio of Everett pitchers, and they've now gone 19 consecutive innings without a run.
Everett starting pitcher Jake Zokan, a ninth-round draft choice by the Mariners this season, had his best start as a professional, tossing seven shutout innings, allowing two hits, one walk and striking out two. Relievers Nate Koneski and Cameron Copping each worked a perfect inning to complete the shutout.
Hillsboro starting pitcher Jose Martinez left the game after one inning for undisclosed reasons. Blake Forslund worked four innings, striking out seven (matching a single-game high for a Hops pitcher), but he issued a leadoff walk in the fifth to a struggling hitter, Daniel Torres. Everett shortstop Brock Hebert then tripled to the right-center field power alley for the game's first run. Three pitches later, Hebert scampered home as Hops catcher Yosbel Gutierrez threw to first to complete a strikeout.
Everett right fielder Austin Wilson, Seattle's second-round draft pick from Stanford, hit two booming doubles --- one in the sixth, and one in the eighth --- to drive home three more runs.
Hillsboro logged only five hard-hit balls the entire game, three of them by leadoff man Brian Billigen, who was 1-for-3. The only other Hops hit was a loop single to right field by first baseman George Roberts. Gutierrez had his hitting streak broken at nine games, the longest streak by a Hop this season. Hops left fielder Yogey Perez-Ramos' six-game hitting streak also came to an end.
It was the third straight shutout in the series. Hillsboro won 9-0 on Saturday.
The series, now tied at two games apiece, concludes tonight at Hillsboro Ballpark at 7:05. The pregame show begins at 6:35 on Fox Sports Radio 620, and online at www.foxsportsradio620.com. Rich Burk and Matt Richert will call the action.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.