Shutout Gives Bears Series Win
The Yakima Bears shutout the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes 4-0 Saturday night at Volcanoes Stadium in Keizer, Oregon. The Bears are 18-11 and now have a five-game lead in the Northwest League’s East Division standings with nine games left in the first half of the season.
Bears starting pitcher Daniel Watts dominated the Volcanoes, facing only three batters in each of the first five innings. During that stretch two batters reached, one on an error and the other on a single, and both were thrown out trying to steal second base. Watts lasted a season-long seven innings, giving up only two hits, one walk, and hitting one batter without allowing a run to earn his second win of the season. Victor Capellan had four strikeouts in two scoreless relief innings to end the game, including working in and out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth.
The Bears offense came to life in the fourth inning, when Jimmy Comerota hit a double and Joe Loftus hit his first professional home run to score two runs. Stephen Rodriguez doubled in the seventh inning to plate Mark Ginther from first base, after Ginther had reached on a walk. Josh Parr led off the eighth inning with a single, advanced on a groundout, and then came home on a two-out single by Loftus.
The Bears outhit the Volcanoes 9-3, including three extra-base hits. Loftus went 2-for-4 with the homer, three RBIs and a run scored. Mike Lang had his third-straight two-hit game, going 2-for-4. Parr was the other player with a multi-hit game for the Bears, finishing 2-for-5 with a run scored.
The win was the Bears league-leading fourth of the season and the victory gave the Bears a seventh-straight series win. Leading the five-game series 3-1, the Bears will play game five against the Volcanoes on Sunday with a dynamic pitching matchup expected. Left-handed pitcher Cody Wheeler, who is 3-0 with a league-leading 0.73 ERA, is the probable pitcher for the Bears. Right-handed pitcher Chris Stratton, who was the 2012 first-round pick of the San Francisco Giants, will make his professional debut. Game time is scheduled for 5:05.