Veteran infielder ties Beavers record with five hits in 10-inning defeat
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Josh Barfield went 5-for-5 with two doubles, three RBIs and three runs scored but the Portland Beavers blew four leads in a 9-8 loss to the Colorado Springs Sky Sox in 10 innings at Security Service Field on Friday night.
With the bases loaded and one out in the 10th inning, Kaz Matsui hit a hard grounder to second base and Barfield had no play as the winning run scored in the form of Cole Garner to send the Beavers (18-30) to their eighth straight loss.
The Sky Sox (21-26), meanwhile, ended their eight-game losing streak by overcoming four different two-run deficits in a game that saw runs in each of the final nine half-innings.
Mike McKenry went 3-for-5 with a double and home run to lead the Sky Sox' season-high 19-hit attack. Matsui, who was signed by the Sky Sox' parent Colorado club earlier in the week, logged two RBIs, and Jonathan Herrera, Matt Miller, Brad Eldred, Travis Metcalf and Jay Payton contributed two hits apiece.
Barfield became the 13th player in franchise history (since 2001) to record a five-hit game. Craig Stansberry, who had five hits himself for Portland on May 23, 2008, hit a two-run shot in the seventh inning and Cunningham added a solo shot in the ninth for the Beavers, who had managed just two home runs in their last 10 games.
Andrew Johnston (3-1) earned the victory despite allowing two runs on three hits in two innings.
Mark Worrell (1-2) took the loss for the second straight night after giving up two runs on three hits in 1/3 of an inning.
With two outs and two on in the fourth, Barfield lined his second double of the game off the left-field wall, scoring Dusty Ryan and Chris Stewart to give the Beavers a 2-0 lead.
McKenry's solo shot in the fifth cut the Portland lead in half and back-to-back two-out doubles by Mike Paulk and McKenry in the sixth tied the game at two.
Stansberry launched a two-run homer with two outs in the seventh into the stiff wind blowing in from center to help the Beavers regain their two-run advantage.
But the Sky Sox rallied right back in the bottom of the seventh. Metcalf started the frame with a double off the center-field wall. The pinch-hitter Payton hit a single up the middle to score Metcalf. Payton moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and then scored the tying run on an infield single by Chris Nelson and a throwing error by the third baseman Stansberry.
Barfield struck again in the eighth inning, lining a single to left to plate Ryan. Pinch-hitter Anthony Contreras followed with a hit and Sean Kazmar extended the Beavers' advantage to 6-4 with an RBI single up the middle.
Chris Frey singled to start the eighth, stole second and scored on a two-out single by Herrera to trim Portland's lead to one.
Cunningham's one-out solo jack in the ninth off Johnston provided Ernesto Frieri with a two-run lead to take into the bottom of the ninth.
Frieri promptly walked Miller on four pitches and Eldred blooped a single to left. Frieri then committed a balk on a pickoff move to second and Miller scored on a passed ball by the catcher Ryan. Matsui followed with the game-tying single to center.
Barfield singled with one out in the 10th and moved to third on Eric Munson's pinch-hit single before scoring on Kazmar's sacrifice fly to give Portland an 8-7 lead.
Portland starter Josh Geer delivered six innings of three-run baseball, allowing 10 hits and no walks with two strikeouts.
Sky Sox starter Josh Muecke pitched six strong innings of two-run ball, striking out five and walking two.
The Beavers and Sky Sox continue their series at 6:05 p.m. (Pacific) on Saturday.
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