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Hillsboro opens season with four wins in first five games


What a difference a year makes.

The Hops’ start to their second season in Hillsboro is light-years better than it was in 2013, setting up an exciting eight-game homestand that began on Wednesday.

Last year, Hillsboro opened the season 1-4, with its only victory in that span being a 12-0 drubbing of Eugene in the home opener. The Hops also suffered through a difficult June, going just 4-13.

They will surely surpass that record this summer after flipping that record through five games to a 4-1 mark through Tuesday’s series finale at the Everett AquaSox.

Remarkably, the Hops were not far off an undefeated start, as they gave up a run in the seventh and two more in the eighth for a 4-3 loss to the Sox last Friday in both teams’ season opener.

The team found its rhythm from there, though, outscoring the Sox 18-8 in the four wins.

Among the week’s highlights:

• The Hops evened their record at 1-1 last Saturday in a 3-2 victory. Cesar Carrasco’s double plated Justin Gonzalez for the winning run in the eighth. On the mound, Ryan Doran scattered five hits in six innings, while Alex Byo picked up the win.

• Hillsboro jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first and added a run in the sixth for a 3-0 win. Left fielder Grant Heyman went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and Todd Glaesmann added two hits and an RBI. Anderson Placido was electric on the mound, fanning 12 over 5.1 innings for the win.

• The team brought its bats and posted nine hits Monday in a 7-3 victory. Glaesmann again led the way with two hits and three RBIs. Pedro Ruiz and Heyman added two hits apiece and Gonzalez had two RBIs. Brent Jones, Nick Baker, Byo and Cody Geyer contributed to the win on the mound, collectively giving up six hits and striking out 10.

• The Hops scored three runs in the seventh to come from behind in a 5-3 win. Heyman and Nate Robertson each had two hits, while Taylor Ratliff, Glaesmann, Carrasco and Galli Cribbs added an RBI apiece.

• Former Oregon State pitcher Scott Schultz started in his professional debut, Dan Savas picked up the win, and Zac Curtis earned the save.

• So far this season, Glaesmann has been on a tear. He opened the first five games by going 9-for-21 at the plate for a .429 batting average, recording nine hits — including two home runs — seven RBIs and six runs. The 6-foot-4 outfielder brings an intriguing backstory to the team. The 23-year-old was drafted by the Rays in the third round of the 2009 amateur draft and was named that organization’s minor league player of the year in 2012. After being traded to the Diamondbacks late last year in a three-way trade that involved Cincinnati, Glaesmann landed on Arizona’s voluntarily retired list. He was reinstated earlier this month, and he has been tearing it up in Hillsboro.

The Hops kicked off a three-game series against Salem-Keizer on Wednesday. Results of that game as well as Thursday’s were not available at press deadline. The squad wraps up that series with a game tonight that starts at 7:05 p.m. Hillsboro will host Vancouver for five games from Saturday through Wednesday before going back on the road.