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Cowlitz pulls out a win in West Coast League series finale, holding Portland to five hits

The Portland Pickles' four-game winning streak ended Wednesday night in the series final at the Cowlitz Black Bears.

Portland never led and mustered only five hits off five Black Bears pitchers.

The Pickles won the series, 2-1, and have a 4-2 West Coast League record as they return home to open a three-game series at 7 p.m. Friday with the Wenatchee AppleSox.

Cowlitz improved to 2-4.

The Black Bears got an unearned run in the second inning off Pickles starter Michael Newstrom, who allowed one hit and one walk in four innings, with five strikeouts. Newstrum has fanned 10 of 29 batters faced as a Pickle.

The Black Bears added a run in the fifth off Zach Espinosa, who gave up three hits and two walks in two innings, with one K.

The Pickles got on the board in the sixth. Joey Cooper hit a no-out, bases-loaded single, scoring Daniel Lopez, who was hit by a pitch and advanced when Jake Berry also was hit by a pitch and Brody Barnum walked. The Black Bears got out of the jam, though, with fly out, strikeout and groundout.

Cowlitz made the lead 3-1 in the eighth. The run came off Max Jones, who tossed two innings, allowing five runs and no walks, with one strikeout.

Cooper led the offense, going 2 for 4.

The Pickles dropped to second on winning percentage in the WCL South Division. The Corvallis Knights are 1-0 after winning at the Kelowna Falcons, 16-7. Cowlitz, the Walla Walla Sweets and the Bend Elks are tied for third in the division, all 2-4. Walla Walla beat Bellingham in 13 innings on Wednesday, 5-1.

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