It looks like a football score, but it was baseball. The Volcanoes whipped the Tri-City Dust Devils 14-7 Saturday night at home to run their winning streak to five.
Joe Staley, Mike Murray, Joe Panik and Brice Cutspec swung hot bats, and Rafael Martinez and Wilber Bucardo pitched well in relief before a crowd of 3,318. It was San Francisco Giants Day, with the Volcanoes wearing Giants jerseys and two veterans of the parent club from the 1960s, Joey Amalfitano and Jim Davenport, signing autographs.
The visitors roughed up starting pitcher Reinier Roibal at the start, scoring three runs in the top of the first inning. Brian Humphries singled to center field, Tim Smalling doubled to left, and a single to left by Leo Reyes drove them both in. Jared Simon was hit by a pitch, Blake McDade’s grounder forced him out with Reyes going to third, and Reyes scored as Jayson Langfels grounded out.
Ricardo Ferrer, who was to become the losing pitcher, set Salem-Keizer down in order in the first. Roibal did the same to the Dust Devils in the top of the second.
In the second, the Volcanoes’ offense woke up for five runs. Murray doubled down the left field line and went to third when Brett Krill singled to center. Staley hit a home run over the center field fence. Garrett Buechele walked, and Cutspec knocked Ferrer’s pitch over the left center field wall.
Tri-City regained the lead in the top of the third, scoring three times. Smalling doubled down the left field line and scored when Jordan Ribera doubled to center. McDade was hit by a pitch, and he and Ribera scored when Langfels tripled to center.
Murray homered over the right field fence to tie the score in the bottom of the third.
In the fourth, Rafael Martinez took the mound for the Volcanoes. After he walked Humphries with one out, Smalling hit into a double play, short to second to first (Panik to John Eshleman to Cutspec).
The Volcanoes went ahead for good in the bottom of the fourth, scoring four runs. Cutspec reached first on a shortstop error, Shawn Payne hit an infield single, and Jesus Galindo singled with a grounder to center, driving in Cutspec. Payne scored on Eshleman’s sacrifice fly to right. A broken-bat single by Panik scored Galindo. With Krill at bat, Panik stole second and went to third on a wild pitch. Krill drove Panik in with a single to left.
Salem-Keizer added a run in the sixth off Rafael Suarez, who had replaced Ferrer in the fifth. Panik singled to center and reached third on a throwing error that put Krill on first. Staley grounded out to bring Panik home.
The Dust Devils scored their last run in the seventh. Smalling doubled to left with two out, and Reyes drove him in with another double to left. Martinez left the game as the winning pitcher, with Wilber Bucardo taking over and retiring the next batter.
The Volcanoes came to bat in the seventh with Ching-Lung Lo pitching. Cutspec hit a hard grounder off Lo’s leg, but the pitcher threw to Ribera at first to get him out. After a mound conference, Lo stayed in the game, walked Payne and Galindo and gave up an infield single to Eshleman. Payne singled to center to bring Payne and Galindo home. Murray hit another single to center, driving in Eshleman.
Rhett Ballard pitched for Tri-City in the eighth, walking Payne with two out but then retiring the side. Bucardo retired the Dust Devils in order in the ninth.
“I said earlier if we got some pitching, we’d be all right,” Volcanoes manager Tom Trebelhorn said. “Tonight we got some good relief.”
Trebelhorn also praised the club’s hitting and baserunning.
Krill, in his first year of professional baseball, has been an even bigger hitter in the previous few games after being sidelined for about 10 days with an injury. He said good pitching and fielding also have been big reasons for the recent turnaround in the Volcanoes’ play.
Staley, also asked about the Salem-Keizer surge, said, “Baseball is an up-and-down game.”
Also visiting from the parent club was Lee Smith, the major leagues’ No. 3 pitcher on all-time save list and a roving pitching instructor.
July 6: Volcanoes 10, Everett 6
The Volcanoes got their first series win and first winning streak of the season by beating Everett there 10-6.
More firsts in the game for Salem-Keizer were home runs in professional baseball by Jesus Galindo in the fourth inning with one on base and Garrett Buechele, son of former major leaguer Steve Buechele, in the eighth with two on. Brett Krill also homered, for the second time in two days, to lead off the fifth.
The Aquasox led twice, scoring the first three runs of the game in the second and taking a 5-4 lead in the third.
Lorenzo Mendoza was the starting and winning pitcher, with a 2-1 record. Despite giving up five earned runs in five innings, he has a season earned run average of 3.86. Everett’s starter, Bennett Whitmore, was the losing pitcher.
July 7: Volcanoes 6, Tri-City 5
Back home, the Volcanoes made it three wins in a row by edging the Tri-City Dust Devils 6-5.
Continuing their slugging ways were Brett Krill and Garrett Buechele, each hitting a home run. Starting pitcher Cameron Lamb had his best game so far, going seven innings and allowing only two runs, although it was Cody Hall who won the game in relief.
Tri-City scored the first run of the game in the top of the first inning, but Salem-Keizer responded with five runs in the bottom of the inning and led the rest of the way.
In the first inning, the Volcanoes’ Jesus Galindo doubled and went to third base on a single by John Eshleman. Joe Panik singled Galindo home. Eshleman was thrown out trying to score from second on a single by Mike Murray. Krill doubled Panik home, and Buechele homered with Krill and Murray on base.
The Dust Devils scored a run in the second and tied the score at 5-5 in the eighth, just after Stephen Shackleford replaced Lamb on the mound. Tri-City scored three runs on three hits and a walk, and Hall replaced Shackleford in the same inning.
Krill hit his homer in the eighth for the final score.
July 8: Volcanoes 4, Tri-City 2
Brett Krill did it again.
For the second straight night, Salem-Keizer’s biggest hitter broke up a game with a home run. It was an 11th-inning shot to right field with Kaohi Downing, pinch running for Mike Murray, on base.
Krill, whose homer meant a four-game winning streak for the Volcanoes, came out of the game batting .371 with four home runs and 15 runs batted in.
Brandon Allen had his best pitching start this season, going 5-1/3 innings with six strikeouts, three hits, one run and one walk. Brennan Flick won the game in relief.
The Volcanoes’ first run came in the first inning, when Jesus Galindo, who had walked, stolen second base and reached third on a grounder, scored on a sacrifice fly by Joe Panik. They scored again in the third, when Ryan Honeycutt, who had reached second base on an errant throw into the dugout and gone to third on a wild pitch, came in on a single by John Eshleman.
The Dust Devils scored in the sixth on a walk, a single and two grounders. They tied the score in the eighth on a single, a wild pitch and another single. David Hernandez scored both runs.
Craig Bennigson was the losing pitcher in relief.
July 10: Volcanoes 14, Tri-City 2
The Volcanoes made it four in a row over Tri-City, pounding the Dust Devils 14-2 on Portland Beavers Appreciation Night.
Honoring a Pacific Coast League club that had to leave because of having no place to play, Salem-Keizer combined its hitting and pitching talents the best so far of the 2011 season. The Volcanoes led 10-0 before Tri-City scored its two runs in the sixth inning.
The Volcanoes scored five runs in the second inning and four in the fourth. They outhit the Dust Devils 18-6.
Julio Izturis, Mike Murray and Brice Cutspec had three hits each. Dan Burkhart and Shawn Payne drove in three runs apiece, and Izturis and Burkhart scored three apiece. Starter Kendry Flores pitched 5-1/3 innings, evening his record at 2-2. Aaron King and Stephen Shackleford allowed no runs in relief.
Salem-Keizer had two home runs, by Cutspec in the third inning with the bases empty and Burkhart in the fourth with two on. Payne hit a bases-loaded triple in the second.
July 11: Tri-City 12, Volcanoes 2
Tri-City kept the Volcanoes from a sweep with a 12-2 win, outhitting Salem-Keizer 20-7.
The Dust Devils scored six runs in the fourth inning, four in the sixth and two in the ninth. Brian Humphries and Jordan Ribera had four hits each, Tyler Massey and Ribera drove in three runs apiece, and Humphries scored three runs. Massey hit a home run in the fourth with one on. Nelson Gonzalez was the winning pitcher in relief, having taken over for Ben Alsup in the fifth.
For the Volcanoes, Mike Murray continued his long ball hitting with a bases-empty home run in the fourth, his fifth. Salem-Keizer’s other run came in the sixth, when Murray singled to drive in Julio Izturis. Lorenzo Mendoza, the starting pitcher, took the loss.
The Northwest League was idle Tuesday, the day of the Major League All-Star game. The Volcanoes started a five-game series in Yakima on Wednesday, after press time.