PASCO, Wash. — The Dust Devils shut out Everett for the second consecutive day and had a trio of triples on their way to a 5-0 win at Gesa Stadium.
Angel Acevedo turned in his strongest start since coming stateside, allowing only four hits over six innings and inducing generally weak contact. The 19-year-old righty from Venezuela worked in the low-90s with his fastball, but like his staff mates over the last few games, worked all three of his pitches effectively around the plate.
“He’s got a really good curveball and the change-up was working, so it’s just making pitches,” said manager Mike McCoy. “He never really got into much trouble, but he made his pitches all night.”
After a solid professional debut in the DSL in 2016, Acevedo limped through his first season stateside in Arizona last summer. The thickly-built hurler works to contact most of the time, and in the desert, opponents hit a staggering .379 against him and reached base at a .426 clip. This year, he’s been able to induce weaker contact – he broke at least three bats Sunday – and opponents’ average has plummeted to .206 through four Northwest League games.
The AquaSox, who’ve now been scoreless for 30 straight innings, never got a runner to second base on the night. When Acevedo was finished after an efficient 77 pitches, Joe Galindo, Nick Kuzia, and Dan Dallas mowed down the Mariners affiliate for the final three innings to lock up the Dust Devils’ league-best third shutout.
Galindo showed a bit more velocity on Sunday, touching 95. Dallas, working at 91-92, kept his fast tempo approach going to close out the game.
With the pitching staff cruising, the Tri-City offense created multiple opportunities.
Aldemar Burgos led off the first with a triple to dead center, but was stranded there as the heart of the line-up hit a pair of weak pop-ups and struck out. In the third, Burgos launched a deep fly ball that also went just off the glove of diving centerfielder Josh Stowers. The second time, Olivier Basabe made the Sox pay, jumping a first-pitch fastball for his first homer in the expansive confines of Gesa Field.
“To me, it was a foregone conclusion he was going to drive that run in in the first inning, and it didn’t work out,” said McCoy. “But then he made up for it with that two-run homer. He’s just been playing really well.”
Basabe’s homer extended his hitting streak to eight games, a span in which he’s collected seven extra-base hits.
“The first at-bat he threw me a fastball I thought was a little higher than it was, so in the second at-bat, I was just waiting for that pitch,” said Basabe.
The Dust Devils added on with a Chandler Seagle double in the fifth and a seventh-inning triple by Kelvin Alarcon that became the third ball of the night to go off a full-extension dive by Stowers.
Dust Devil Notes: Third-rounder Grant Little sat for the second straight game with a minor hand injury. It’s not uncommon for guys to get jammed and experience some hand pain as they make the adjustment back to wood bats. … A night after Owen Miller’s 10-game hitting streak came to an end, he picked up another hit as the designated hitter. He’s hit in 19 of 23 professional games so far. … Seagle’s work behind the plate impressed all night. The Appalachian State product threw out both would-be base-stealers at second base, flashing a sub 2.0 pop-time the first time around and getting rid of a difficult ball he had to reach across his body for almost as quickly. He also managed his pitching staff well and showed great movement behind the plate to block several third-strike pitches in the dirt.