Bears take 2-1 series lead, keep playoff hopes alive
The Yakima Bears beat the Eugene Emeralds 9-7 Thursday night at Yakima County Stadium. The Bears remain one game back of the Tri-City Dust Devils with two games to play, as the Dust Devils won as well Thursday.
The Emeralds scored the games first three runs, with one in the first inning and two in the second inning, two of which were unearned due to a Bears error.
The Bears then went on to score the games next nine runs, starting with two in the bottom of the second inning. Garrett Weber reached on an error and Carter Bell doubled to put them both in scoring position. Weber scored on a Tyler Bream single and Bell was plated by a Tyson Van Winkle double.
In the third Danny Pulfer led off with a walk and Jimmy Comerota singled to put runners on the corners. Pulfer came home on a groundout by Bell and Comerota scored on a Justin Hilt double to put the Bears in front 4-3.
Hilt would come through again in the fifth, as after Comerota, Weber, and Bell hit back-to-back-to-back singles, he hit the Bears first grand slam home run of the season. The shot over the left field wall was Hilt's team leading eleventh home run of the season.
After Weber led off the seventh inning with a double he would score on a Tyler Bream two-out single for the Bears final run of the night.
Bears starting pitcher Adam Kudryk had a quality start, allowing only one earned run and three runs total in six innings. Kudryk improved to 5-4 with the win.
Teo Gutierrez tossed two scoreless relief innings for the Bears before getting into trouble. Gutierrez was charged four earned runs while recording only two outs in the ninth, as he allowed five hits - three of which were extra-base hits. Justin Albert came in and retired the only batter he faced to earn his fifth save of the season.
The Bears finished with 13 hits and had five different players finish with two hits: Comerota, Weber, Bell, Hilt, and Bream. Hilt's two hits were a double and a home run and those produced five RBIs for him. In all, the Bears had five extra-base hits among their 13 hits, while the Emeralds had seven extra-base hits among their 11 hits.
The Bears are now 19-17 in the second half of the season and have one shot at the playoffs. If the Bears win the final two games of the season while the Tri-City Dust Devils lose their final two games the Bears will make the postseason. One Bears loss or one Dust Devils win in the season's final two nights and the Bears won't be returning to the playoffs for a second straight year.
The Bears and Emeralds play game four of the five-game series at 7:05 Friday night. Right-handed pitchers Alex Capaul of the Bears and James Needy of the Emeralds are expected to start the game at Yakima County Stadium.
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Northwest League Stories from September 1, 2011
- Gagnon Blocks the Volcanoes' Flow - Tri-City Dust Devils
- Bears take 2-1 series lead, keep playoff hopes alive - Yakima Bears
- Hanna Twirls as Gem as Indians Shut Out AquaSox 3-0 - Spokane Indians
- Boise beats Vancouver - Boise Hawks
- Vancouver's road troubles continue; fall to 3-16 away from Scotiabank Field - Vancouver Canadians
- Avista Stadium Named Northwest League Field of the Year - Spokane Indians
- Bears to Play 2012 Season in Yakima - Yakima Bears
- Bears Can't Keep Up With Emeralds Scoring in Loss - Yakima Bears
- Indians Battle Elements and AquaSox in 3-1 Win - Spokane Indians
- Hitting Streak Ends in Tri-City Loss - Tri-City Dust Devils
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