Eugene, OR – The Hillsboro Hops traveled south to face a familiar foe on Tuesday at PK Park. The Eugene Emeralds would continue their early season success against the Hops, despite striking out 18 times and going 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position. The 5-2 Emeralds’ victory made them 7-0 against Hillsboro in 2023.
Hillsboro got the scoring started in the first inning, as Wilderd Patino started the game off with a single and stolen base, later scoring on a single by J.J. D’Orazio. D’Orazio had both Hops’ RBI in the game.
Yilber Diaz was brilliant in his first start since recording just one out in his last outing against Spokane. Diaz struck out nine batters in four innings of work, striking out at least two Eugene hitters in all four innings. Diaz only threw 60 pitches and allowed just one run on a solo homer by Jimmy Glowenke. The former second round pick, who hit a grand slam against the Hops last season, hit his second homer of 2023 on Tuesday.
Peniel Otano was the first relief pitcher for Hillsboro, entering the game with runners on second and third. Otano was called for a balk, the Hops’ 10th team balk this season, giving Eugene a 2-1 lead.
Hillsboro tied the game in the fifth on a two-out RBI double for D’Orazio, his second RBI hit of the night, again scoring Patino.
The Emeralds got at least one run in four straight innings (3-6) and added two to their lead in the fifth on just one hit. Eugene needed just five hits for their five runs on the night.
John Bertrand was lights out for Eugene out of the bullpen, pitching four innings allowing just two hits and one earned run. Bertrand retired the side in three straight innings, making quick work of the Hops while securing his fifth win of the year in the 5-2 Eugene win.
The Hops finished the game with nine hits, but only scratched across two runs. Ivan Melendez extended his hit-streak to nine games.
Game two of the series will be Wednesday night at PK Park with first pitch at 7:35 and the pregame show live at 7:20 on Rip City Radio 620.
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