The Yakima Bears lost Game 2 of their 3-game divisional playoff series against Boise and now play a winner-take-all game tonight at home. While the 11-5 score makes it look like this was an ugly game, it was anything but. Yakima ace Daniel Watts started and pitched good but not great. Boise struck first with a 2-run homer in the 3rd inning off Watts, but the Bears came right back with two in the bottom half on a 2-run single by hot-hitting Kevin Medrano. Boise regained the lead with one in the 5th, and Yakima came right back again with two in the bottom half to take a 4-3 lead on a 2-run single by Mark Ginther. Then the bullpens took over as Watts was replaced to start the 6th. Victor Acosta and Jose Jose combined for 2 scoreless innings. But in the 8th Will Locante surrendered the tying run on a 2-out triple followed by a wild pitch. It all came undone in the 9th though when Yakima tried turning to Cody Wheeler, who spent most of the season as a starter. Wheeler got the first two hitters out on a pop up and a ground out. Then the next 9 batters reached safely on 3 singles, a double, a triple and 3 walks plating 7 runs and that was the game. Blake Forslund relieved Wheeler and contributed to the disaster.
Missoula also won again to set up their 2-game showdown with Billings to determine the North Division Champion starting tonight. Reno starts their opening round playoff series tonight while Mobile begins on Thursday.
3 Stars: Yoimer Camacho, Missoula 6 IP, 4 H, 1 BB, 8 K, 1 R, 0 ER
2 Stars: Kevin Medrano, Yakima 3 for 4, 1 R, 2 RBI
1 Star: Josh Parr, Yakima 3 for 4, 1 R, 1 DBL
0 Stars: Cody Wheeler, Yakima 2/3 IP, 2 H, 3 BB, 5 ER, L (0-1)
Missoula game summary and more details on Yakima after the jump.
Triple A: Reno. The Aces begin their playoff series at Sacramento tonight and Trevor Bauer takes the mound in this best-of-five set. The first two games are in Sacramento with the final three games in Reno starting Friday. I will be very interested to see how Bauer pitches tonight in a high leverage situation, granted without a bunch of their regulars who are up with the Diamondbacks.
Double A: Mobile. Mobile squares off against Montgomery in their best-of-five series starting Thursday night at home. Games 1 and 2 will be played at home with the final 3 are in Montgomery.
Short Season A: Yakima 5 Boise 11. Daniel Watts ended up going 5 innings allowing 3 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks while striking out 3. Kevin Medrano and Josh Parr each had 3 hits. Joseph Loftus went 2 for 4 and Jacob House had an RBI double. Jose Martinez (0-1, 4.22) is the scheduled starter, just his 3rd start in America since being promoted from the DSL less than 2 weeks ago. This could also be the final game played in Yakima as the team is moving to Hillsboro, Ore next season.
Rookie: Missoula 3 @ Great Falls 1. Two down, two to go. The Osprey won yet another must-win game and now have set the stage for their season-ending 2-game series with Billings. Missoula must win both games to make the playoffs. A split would send Billings who owns the head-to-head tiebreaker. Yoimer Camacho delivered in this pressurized start allowing one unearned run in 6 innings on 4 hits and a walk with 8 strikeouts. Jared Ray and Patrick pitched the final 3 innings in shutout style with 6 strikeouts. The offense wasn't electric but it was good enough, in spite of having 2 runners thrown out at the plate in the 3rd inning. Pedro Ruiz had a pair of hits and a run scored. Alex Glenn had an RBI triple and Michael Perez added a double.