By HERB SWETT
For the Keizertimes
Rafael Rodriguez’s big bat and effective work from the Volcanoes’ last two pitchers were not enough to keep visiting Eugene from beating Salem-Keizer 10-7 Monday.
Rodriguez tripled in the third inning, driving in Matt Duffy and Chuckie Jones, and scored on a double by Brennan Mergenthaler. In the seventh, he hit a solo home run. He also singled in the first without producing a run.
The Volcanoes were ahead 2-0 after two innings. In the top of the third, the Emeralds went ahead with four runs. Dane Phillips doubled, clearing the loaded bases. Jeremy Baltz then doubled, and Clark Murphy singled him home. Joe Kurrasch replaced starting pitcher Lorenzo Mendoza and ended up as the loser.
In the bottom of the third, Salem-Keizer went back ahead by a run. Duffy walked and stole second base, and Chuckie Jones walked. Joe Church then came in to replace starting pitcher Bryan Rodriguez. Rodriguez then hit his triple, Joe Rapp flew out and Mergenthaler hit his double. Despite the rough inning for Church, he became the winning pitcher.
Eugene regained the lead in the top of the fifth. Jorge Bucardo was the Volcanoes’ pitcher and gave up a one-out triple to Corey Adamson, who then scored on a sacrifice fly by B.J. Guinn. Stephen Carmon tripled and scored on a single by Alberth Martinez.
In the Emeralds’ sixth, with Chris Johnson pitching for the Volcanoes, River Stevens singled, stole second then scored as Guinn singled. Salem-Keizer answered with a run in that inning when Brennan Metzger singled home Ryan Jones, who had doubled.
Rodriguez’s seventh-inning homer was the last Volcanoes run.
Johnson retired the Emeralds in order in the seventh and eighth. Matt Graham pitched the ninth for the Volcanoes, facing four batters and walking one.
In the Salem-Keizer ninth, Chuckie Jones walked with one out, and Rapp was robbed of a likely double by a diving catch of his line drive by left fielder Baltz. Rodriguez flew out to end the game. Roman Madrid who came on to pitch the ninth, earned a save.
“We’ve been pitching really well,” Volcanoes manager Tom Trebelhorn said, “but we gave up a lot of runs tonight.”
Rodriguez has hit few home runs in his short professional career, but power is the phase of the game that takes the longest to develop. He said through an interpreter, teammate Dashenko Ricardo, that he is working at adding power.
Johnson, who starred as a University of Portland starter before joining the Volcanoes, said he would be glad to advance as either a starter or a reliever.
“I’m not going to be picky,” he said. “It’s been a little bit of an adjustment, but I’m happy just pitching. I have four different pitches; I’m not the hardest thrower out there.”
R H E
EUG 004 321 000 10 15 2
S-K 203 001 100 7 9 2
B. Rodriguez, Church 3, Marcano 5, Chabot 8, Madrid 9 and Phillips; Mendoza, Kurrasch 4, Bucardo 5, Johnson 6 and Graham.
W – Church.
L – Kurrasch. S – Madrid.
HR – Rodriguez, Volcanoes.