PASCO, Wash. — Despite putting together a rally in the ninth inning that had three walks, a single and two triples, Tri-City lost to the Hillsboro Hops 8-5 on Sunday night
“Never give at-bats away, they all count has always been the message,” said Dust Devils’ manager Mike McCoy after the game. “I always tell the guys to continue to be a pro, that’s the message right?”
Right-hander Adrian Martinez had his best outing of the season, going five scoreless innings while striking out three and walking two. He came into the game with a 7.32 ERA having given up five earned runs in two of his last three starts. While the 21-year-old from Mexicali has averaged more than a strikeout per inning between Tri-City and Fort Wayne this season, opponents have hit .355 against him as they have keyed on his fastball.
After Martinez left the game in the fifth inning with a 1-0 lead, right-hander Wen-Hua Sung, who entered the game with an 8.03 ERA, had his worst outing of the season. Sung gave up six earned runs in two-thirds of an inning. Sung, now 21, was part of the Padres’ J2 International class out of Taiwan and their first amateur signing from Asia. Sung missed all of the 2017 season with arm injuries.
The Hops tacked on two in the next inning and seemed on their way to a blowout, but the Dust Devils offense closed the gap late.
With one out in the ninth inning center fielder, Tre Carter tripled into deep right followed by a walk by shortstop Xavier Edwards. Second baseman Tucupita Marcano then tripled over the Hillsboro center fielder’s head to make it 8-3.
A pair of walks, followed by a single by left fielder Grant Little made it 8-4, before the Hops, now on their third pitcher of the inning, got first baseman Justin Paulsen to ground out to first base and struck out last night’s hero, designated hitter Michael Curry, to end the game.
Both Edwards and Marcano were impressive tonight. The 19-year old Edwards, who is only hitting from the left side right now because of a healing right wrist, was 1-for-3 on the night with a pair of walks and a stolen base in addition to fielding his position flawlessly.
“He put together good at-bats from the first night; he might be a tick off on his timing,” said McCoy. “He fights on every at-bat and doesn’t swing at balls; he’s been good.”
Marcano, who was hitting .393/.497/.443 in the Arizona League before he was promoted to Tri-City on Thursday, is now hitting .313 in his first four games at only 18.
Tonight he was 3-5 with a triple and two RBI.
Dust Devil Notes: Tri-City closes out their five-game series with Hillsboro on Monday with right-hander Cole Bellinger taking the mound. Bellinger, an over-slot sign from the 2017 draft, is 1-5 on the year with a 6.87 ERA. … Reliever Cody Tyler, who already had one stint at Lake Elsinore this summer, was promoted back to the Storm before the game. The 32nd-rounder out of Wichita State has had better performance in the Cal League than either Arizona or the Northwest League in his first professional summer.