PORTLAND — After riding a big offensive display to close out the first half of their West Coast League season with a victory, the Yakima Valley Pippins leaned on their pitching to open the second half on a winning note.
Ryan Jameson and Jack Gonzales combined on a three-hitter, and Tanner Parker drove in the game’s only run with an RBI double in the eighth as Yakima Valley edged the Portland Pickles 1-0 on Friday night.
Jameson allowed just one hit while striking out 10 in 62/3 innings of work, and Gonzales finished with 21/3 innings of two-hit ball, working out of a ninth-inning jam to earn the win.
Yakima Valley (12-15 overall) has now won four straight since ending a nine-game losing streak.
In the eighth, Eddy Pelc led off with a single and later stole second. Parker then delivered his run-scoring double to finally break through.
In the bottom of the ninth, Chase Luttrell hit a leadoff single and was sacrificed to second by Jonathan Kelly. After Gonzales struck out Darius Perry, he walked pinch-hitter Alex Shanks and he then had a wild pitch to put runners and second and third. But he buckled down and struck out leadoff hitter Austin Lively to end the game, his fourth punch out on the night.
One day after posting a season-best 13 runs, the Pippins were held in check by four Portland pitchers. Yakima Valley finished with just four hits — two by Pelc —and the top five spots in the Yakima Valley lineup were a combined 1 for 16. Owen Cobb had his team’s other hit.
Yakima Valley had an early threat, putting the first two runners on in the second inning but it could not plate a run. That was really the Pippins only other true threat, with the team being retired in order in four innings.