Early Lead Holds Up For Bears In Home Win
The Yakima Bears defeated the Tri-City Dust Devils 4-2 at Yakima County Stadium Thursday night. The Bears, now 8-6, still hold a two-game lead for first place in the Northwest League’s East Division.
The Bears offense took advantage of early pitching struggles for Tri-City starter Peter Tago. The bases were loaded in the first inning after Josh Parr reached on a walk and both Shaun Cooper and Jacob House were hit by pitches. Joe Loftus hit a double to plate two runners and then Mark Ginther hit a sacrifice fly to give the Bears the early 3-0 lead. The only other Bears run came from Parr, who hit his team-leading third home run of the season to lead off the fifth inning.
Bears starting pitcher Cody Wheeler tossed five scoreless innings and then returned to the hill in the sixth. In the sixth inning, Wheeler gave up a single and a runner reached on an error. Wheeler was taken out and both runners scored, but both runs were unearned. The lefty starter ended up with the win at the end of the night thanks to his five and a third innings effort. It was reliever Enrique Burgos who allowed the runners to score, but his stats looked good, going two and a third scoreless innings. Victor Capellan finished the game for the Bears, earning his second save after one and a third scoreless innings.
The Bears offense collected seven hits. Kevin Medrano led the way, going 2-for-2 with a walk and a steal. Jae Yun Kim and Loftus both hit doubles and Parr had the home run. Loftus ended the night 1-for-2 with the double, a walk, two RBIs, and the top defensive play for a Bears outfielder this season when he caught a foul ball on a dead spring and held on as he violently crashed in to a wall.
The Bears have now won back-to-back games. Now leading the three-game series against the Dust Devils 1-0, the Bears continue the six-game homestand Friday night with a 7:05 game. Left-handed pitcher Daniel Watts is expected to start for the Bears against right-handed pitcher TJ Oakes of the Dust Devils.