The struggling Yakima Bears (23-37) defeated the Boise Hawks
(28-32) 4-3 in front of 2,037 fans at County Stadium Friday night. They allowed
two runs to fall behind 3-1 in the top of the tenth, but would rally for three
in the bottom half, tallying the game-winning run on a walk-off single by the
sizzling Ryan Wheeler.
The Bears scored the game’s first run in the bottom of the fifth inning on a Tim Sherlock RBI triple. Boise responded with a game-tying RBI single from Logan Watkins the very next half-inning.
Boise broke the 1-1 tie with two runs on three hits – two of them bunt singles – off Bears’ reliever Brian Budrow to take a 3-1 lead in the tenth before Yakima struck for three to earn the victory.
Dan Taylor turned in another solid outing, carrying a no-hitter into the sixth. The southpaw ended up tossing seven innings, allowing one run on three hits and did not factor into the decision.
The 21st-round draft pick had a 9.22 ERA over eight relief appearances prior to converting into a
starter. Since then, he has gone 3-0 with a 1.59 ERA in 34 innings,
allowing just 21 hits and seven walks while striking out 39.
Wheeler’s game-winning hit was the first hit that Hawks’ left-hander Ryan Sontag had allowed to a lefty all season (0-for-26 prior).
The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Wheeler has been the best hitter in the Northwest League
all season and is currently second in batting average (.346) and
on-base-plus-slugging (.972) while leading the league in on-base percentage
(.452). Wheeler, the D-backs' fifth-round selection in this year's draft,
is 15-for-29 (.517) during his current seven-game hitting streak.
Budrow (3-2) picked up the win despite allowing two runs on three hits in his
one inning of work. Dionis Nunez (3-2) absorbed the loss, tossing one-plus inning, allowing three runs on one hit.
With the victory, the Bears improve their extra-inning record to 4-4 on the year.
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