Emeralds' 14-game win streak ends in rout

Eugene, OR: All streaks have to come to an end, and for the Eugene Emeralds, their winning streak ended in a rout.

The Vancouver Canadians sluggish offense unloaded on the Emeralds pitching, due largely to a sixth inning that featured two three-run home runs. The loss ended the Ems record 14-game winning streak, as Vancouver avoided a sweep by the score of 11-1 on Wednesday night at PK Park in front of 1,912 fans.

On a night where the Ems mustered one run on only four hits and committed two errors, manager Pat Murphy described his team as having been "taken behind the woodshed" by Vancouver (12-8).

The Emeralds (17-3) have played 20 days in a row, and on this night the long stretch finally caught up with them.

"They're a little shocked by it—they haven't been there," Murphy said. "It's unfamiliar territory. They're all first year players. The team we just played against, they have very few first year players, so they've played everyday in the minor leagues. Our guys have never played every day."

On Tuesday night, the Emeralds felt they played a mediocre game despite winning by six runs—two errors and 13 strikeouts would prove to never haunt them. On Wednesday, they never produced the important hit to give the pitchers run-support.

"We just didn't play a good game today—that was the bottom line," Lee Orr said. "We didn't give it to them. They took it from us. They swung the bat well, and they just beat us.

"We just didn't have the big hits. We've been striking out the whole year, but we kept coming through when we really needed it. Tonight, we just couldn't get it done."

Despite an early second inning run, which was delivered on a two-out single from Matt Colantonio, the Emeralds offense was held to a rare, quiet night at the plate.

Orr, who came through with two home runs in his last two games, did not have similar fortune on this night. He went 0-for-4, including a double play in the third inning, which killed a potential rally after Cory Spangenberg—who went 1-for-2 with two walks—led the inning off with a single.

Emeralds starting pitcher James Needy was looking for his first win of the season, and through the first two innings, he had the stuff to make it happen.

In the third inning, Needy lost his command as a leadoff walk followed by a single put two runners on base for leadoff hitter Jon Berti. Berti brought home one run with a single to tie the game at 1-1.

Needy's night came to an end after a bases loaded error by third baseman Zach Kometani allowed the second run of the inning to score. Vancouver would plate one more run in the third giving them an early 3-1 lead.

Needy (0-1) has failed to get past the fourth inning in three starts this year.

The Ems, though, were within striking distance heading into the sixth inning.

After reliever Greg Gonzalez worked a perfect fifth inning and retired the first batter of the sixth inning, he reached his three-inning limit, which forced Murphy to go back to the bullpen, calling on Paul Bingham.

Bingham allowed a double and a single to the first two batters he faced before left fielder Steve McQuail took him deep—his first of two home runs in the game—for a three-run blast extending the Canadians lead to 6-1.

Bingham struck out the next batter he faced, but an infield single and a walk left two runners on base for centerfielder Jon Jones, who delivered the second three-run homer of the inning.

Murphy admitted that Bingham did not have his best stuff, but he needed to allow Bingham to face hitters and reach his pitch count. It's the catch-22 of playing in the minors. Murphy's objective is on development above winning.

Vancouver would tack on one more run in the inning giving them a 10-1 lead.

"It's sad that it's over, but it's a chance to come out tomorrow and do some things," Murphy said. "You learn a lot about your club in times like these. You learn as much when they're winning, and you learn just as much when they lose."

"Great learning experience—part of the development."


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