Emeralds find no salvation at home

The end of long road trips usually brings with it the salvation of a familiar bed.

The Eugene Emeralds had to settle for the comfort of a bus. After driving through the night and arriving at the ballpark Monday morning, the Ems were caught snoozing in a 7-1 loss to the Everett Aquasox.

The win extended the Aquasoz second half division lead over the Emeralds to three games.

"They pitched well," said Donavan Tate, who went 0-for-4. "They played a good ballgame. We just couldn't get anything rolling tonight. Tip our hats off to them for coming out and pitching and being ready to play."

The Emeralds pitching struggled throughout the night, but was able to keep the Ems within two heading into the eighth inning.

It was the Emeralds (34-24) who were on the losing end of a momentum shift, which led to a four-run eighth inning.

Manager Par Murphy adamantly argued an RBI triple from Jetsy Extrano, contesting that the ball landed in foul territory.

Murphy would view the rest of the game from the stands after being ejected by home plate umpire Travis Eggerts.

"It wasn't close," Murphy said. "They try to come out (in front of home plate) and make the call. Instead of just looking and seeing the call, their technique is to get out (in front of home plate) and look. Well, they're not fast enough—the ball is already there."

The Emeralds offense returned home after an eight-game road trip where the Ems scored eight or more runs in five of those games.

Aquasox starting pitcher Jordan Pries limited the hot bats to one run while striking out six during his six innings of work.

"You have to give credit to their pitcher," Murphy said. "Their pitcher did a heck of a job. He threw his fastball with location. He threw a good change up and two-seamer. I thought he did a great job of keeping us at bay. Good pitcher beats good hitting most of the time."

Lee Orr has put together a consistent performance throughout the month of August—not to say it's been a quality performance. While batting a meager .204 this month, he has reached base in every game since Aug. 4.

He has recorded hits in nine of those ten games entering Monday, but only once has it been a multi-hit game.

An RBI double in the second inning to give the Ems a 1-0 lead could have been the slump-busting at-bat he's been eyeing.

But down by two and with runners on first and second, Orr struck out looking at an inside fastball from reliever Kyle Hunter. Hunter would then strike out Kyle Gaedele to end the threat.

After a quick first inning, Ems starting pitcher Juan Herrera spent the night trying to work out of danger.

Herrera allowed the leadoff hitter to reach base in the second and third innings, but some nifty pitching let him escape unharmed.

He wasn't as lucky in the fourth and fifth innings.

The Aquasox (29-29) would later tie the game at one after a leadoff double from Jharmidy De Jesus in the fourth.

In the fifth, a two-run home run from Marcus Littlewood—his seventh dinger of the year—gave the Aquasox a 3-1 lead.

Herrera struck out the next two batters, but was pulled after reaching his pitch count following a two-out walk.

Pitcher Matt Branham and infielders Daunel Jones and Casey McElroy all joined the Ems on Monday.

McElroy played second and third and went 0-for-4 in his 2011 Ems debut.

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