The Yakima Bears were shutout 3-0 by the Eugene Emeralds at PK Park in Eugene, Oregon Monday night. Cody Wheeler cruised through five innings on the mound, but the Bears bats managed a total of four hits and no runs.

Despite their third loss in four games to begin the 2012 campaign, the Bears remain in a four-way tie for first place in the NWL East division.
Wheeler, who had sat out from Minor League games for almost a full two years after multiple injuries, returned with aplomb. The lefty retired the first six batters he faced, including striking out the side in the second inning. The Emeralds didn’t get a hit until the fifth inning and never sent more than four batters to the plate off the Bears starter. Wheeler gave up one hit and one walk, while whiffing five batters in five scoreless innings.

The bullpen couldn’t hold the Emeralds off. Frank Santana, who took the loss, gave up two runs in the sixth before pitching a 1-2-3 seventh. Enrique Burgos gave up one run while pitching the eighth inning.

The Bears never managed a run themselves, as the team had only four hits. Shaun Cooper reached on a hit for the third straight game to start his professional career and Danny Poma’s hit made it three straight on-base for the first-year pro.

The Emeralds earned the series win, as they now lead the five-game set 3-1. The series finale is set for Tuesday at PK Park. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05.

Right-handed pitcher Derrick Stultz will make his first professional start for the Bears, while the Emeralds are expected to go with right-handed pitcher Bryan Rodriguez.

*SPECIAL NOTE* - Due to a scheduling conflict with game 4 of the NBA Finals, tonight's Bears game can be heard on NewsTalk KIT.  1280-AM/99.3-FM.  John Hadden has the play-by-play and host the pre-game festivities which get underway at 6:50.

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