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Hops return home after eight-game road trip


Hillsboro will host a three-game series against Salem-Keizer this weekend and five games against Vancouver next week

On the heels of their first significant road trip, the Hops are back in Hillsboro this week for their second home series of the season.by: HILLSBORO TRIBUNE PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD - Hillsboro Hops second baseman William Castillo makes a throw from his backside during last Tuesday's Northwest League game against the Eugene Emeralds.

Having played eight road games since June 21, the Hops return to the friendly confines of Hillsboro Ballpark today to kick off its next home stand. On tap are three games against the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes. Game time is 7:05 p.m. for both Friday and Saturday, and 1:35 p.m. on Sunday.

The Hops will then play four games in Eugene on consecutive days before hosting Vancouver for a five-game series July 4-8. First pitch for all of the games against the Canadians is 7:05 p.m., except for July 7. That contest will start at 1:35 p.m.

From last Wednesday through Monday, Hillsboro went 2-4 in a home contest against Eugene and five road games at Everett. For their wins, the Hops eked out a 2-1 victory against the Emeralds last Wednesday and cruised to a 7-1 win on Saturday in one game of a doubleheader at Everett.

Three of the Hops’ losses during that span have been by a single run, and the other defeat was by two runs. In all, the Hops took a 3-8 record into their three-game series at Boise this week.

The Hops were slated to play the first of those contests against the Hawks on Tuesday, but that game was postponed due to rain and moved to Wednesday as part of a doubleheader. Results for the those games, as well as Thursday’s series finale, were not available (after press deadline).

In the Eugene win last Wednesday, Hillsboro scored two runs in the bottom of the second and held the Emeralds to a solo home run by Henry Charles in the fifth.

The Hops’ tallies came on a Randy McMurray single that scored Yogey Perez-Ramos and Elvin Soto, a 16th-round draft pick who had joined the team earlier in the week. Ben Eckels picked up the victory on the pitcher’s mound, allowing just two hits and the one run in 5 2/3 innings. Karl Triana and Yoimer Camacho combined for 3 1/3 innings of scoreless relief.

In the win against the Aquasox on Saturday — a game shortened to seven innings as part of a doubleheader due to a rainout last Thursday — the Hops spotted the home team a run in the first but stormed ahead with five runs in the sixth and two more in the seventh.

Ryan Kinsella got the sixth-inning scoring barrage going with his first home run of the season, a solo shot to right field that tied the game. A bases-loaded walk of Perez-Ramos scored John Leonard for the go-ahead run. Taylor Ratliff scored on a wild pitch by Everett’s Min-Sih Chen, and Zachary Esquerra laced an two-RBI single to center field, scoring Ryan Gebhardt and Perez-Ramos. An inning later, Esquerra knocked a single to right field, this time plating Ratliff and Gebhardt, to complete the scoring.

Esquerra led Hillsboro with two hits and four RBIs in four plate appearances, while Ratliff and Gebhardt scored two runs each. Triana gave up six hits and just the one run in six innings, while Chase Stevens pitched a scoreless seventh.

Through the team’s first 11 games, Esquerra paced the Hops with 14 hits and 10 RBIs. Perez-Ramos-was batting .325, had scored a team-best eight runs and also had five RBIs.