The “Bad News Ems” just keep on rolling.
The Eugene Emeralds shut out the Spokane Indians (Rangers), 4-0 to take a two-games-to-none lead in the best-of-five series.
The Emeralds jumped on Indians starter Yerry Rodriguez for three runs in the top of the first. (Again, the Indians were the designated home team for this game, despite it being played in Eugene.) After Nelson Velazquez singled and Luke Reynolds walked with one out, game one hero Levi Jordan doubled them both home. After Jonathan Sierra struck out, Grant Fennell singled home Jordan from second base.
Meanwhile, Jack Patterson started game two for Eugene, only the second game that the 32nd-round pick has pitched in since being promoted from Arizona. He pitched four scoreless innings, allowing three hits. Patterson walked three and struck out three.
Patterson gave way to Eugenio Palma in the fifth inning and Palma threw three scoreless innings. Palma gave up one hit and one walk, both in the fifth. He struck out two and was awarded the win because Patterson didn’t go five innings.
The Ems tacked on an insurance run in the top of the seventh. Catcher Caleb Knight doubled to lead off the inning and went to third base on a passed ball. He then scored on a sacrifice fly by Andy Weber.
Sean Berry was perfect in his two-inning save, retiring all six batters he faced. Berry struck out two.
Knight was 2 for 4 with two doubles.
Jordan went 2 for 4 with one double.
Here’s Jordan’s two-run double:
And here’s Fennell’s RBI single:
The Emeralds have won four straight playoff games. They never won more than two consecutive games in the entire regular season.
The “Bad News Ems” now need to win just one of the next three games to win the Northwest League Championship for the second time in three seasons, despite having the worst-overall record in the league this year. So far, the Emeralds have only found one team that won their league title after posting the worst record in the league. That team was the 1985 Winston-Salem Spirit, who won the Carolina League title despite a league-worst 58-81 record. The Spirit were also a Cubs farm team and that team had a few players that you’ve probably heard of. Jamie Moyer, Dave Martinez, Damon Berryhill and Rick Wrona were all on the 1985 Spirit team.
The Ems will be the designated home team for all three of the remaining games, if necessary. Game three will start at 7:05 Pacific Time at PK Park in Eugene.