IDAHO FALLS, IDAHO - With a season-high five homers and another team-wide outburst at the plate, the Missoula Osprey (14-12) slugged their way past the Idaho Falls Chukars (11-15) by a final score of 15-11 on Saturday night at Melaleuca Field. The win pushed the Osprey to a season-high two games above .500 and into a first-place tie for the first time in 2017.
For the fourth consecutive evening, the Osprey raced out to an early lead, plating a pair of runs in the top of the second on a two-run double by Francis Martinez. The double was Martinez's first of two, bringing his total to three doubles in his last two games and six RBI in the same span.
After Idaho Falls tied the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the second, the Osprey charged back in the third on a two-run blast by Joey Rose to right-center field, his third homer of the season and the first of five for Missoula on Saturday.
Leading 4-2 upon entrance into the fourth frame, the Osprey doubled their total to take an 8-2 lead after Will Gorman singled home a run, Jose Caballero scored on a throwing error following a stolen base, and Keshawn Lynch hit an opposite field two-run homer, his first blast as a professional.
Following the bottom of the fourth in which the Chukars scored three runs of their own to cut the Missoula lead to 8-5, the Osprey added three more runs on a pair of homers, first a solo shot by Dominic Miroglio and second on a two-run long ball by Jose Caballero. For each player, the home run was his first as a professional.
Again Idaho Falls responded in the bottom of the frame, plating a pair of runs in the fifth to chop Missoula's lead to 11-7. In the top of the sixth, however, the Osprey cemented their final total for the evening, adding four runs on an run-scoring double by Joey Rose and a three-run homer by Juan Araujo. While Idaho Falls rallied to score four runs in the bottom of the eighth, the Osprey enjoyed enough distance between themselves and the Chukars to clinch a 15-11 victory.
With the win, the Osprey have matched their season-best with a three-game winning streak and have claimed a share of first place for the first time since Opening Day. For the second consecutive night, the Osprey leveraged multi-hit games from six different players to win and continue to demonstrate the potency of their lineup.
The Osprey return to action on Sunday in the late afternoon in the second chapter of a four-game series in Idaho Falls. First pitch is at 4:00 p.m. with the Mission Paint Pregame Show set to air at 3:45 p.m. on 102.9 ESPN Missoula.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.