If the Emeralds plan on competing for a playoff berth, they’re running out of time.
Jim Gabella‘s squad fell to Salem-Keizer by a 3-0 score on Saturday, the fifth straight loss for the Emeralds. It was the tenth time this season the Emeralds have been blanked–most in the Northwest League.
Fernando Perez and Edwin Moreno had Eugene’s only hits on the night on an evening where the home side was struck out ten times. Pat Young got the start for Salem-Keizer and allowed just one hit in six innings while striking out six. Tyler Rogers pitched the seventh and the eighth for the Volcanoes before Raymundo Montero notched his 13th save of the season.
The Volcanoes scored all three of their runs in the third inning off Eugene starter Coby Cowgill. Brian Ragira had an RBI triple and Tyler Horan and Blake Miller added RBI singles.
Outside of the third inning Eugene was strong on the mound. Cowgil struck out seven in just 4.2 innings and the bullpen allowed just one hit in the final 4.1 innings of the game
Eugene is now six games back of co-leaders Hillsboro and Boise, who are both 18-12. With eight games remaining the Emeralds aren’t mathematically eliminated from playoff contention yet, but they could be by the middle of the week.
The Emeralds offense has struggled mightily since Hunter Renfroe was called up to single-A Fort Wayne. In nine games with the TinCaps, Refnroe is hitting .235 with a home run and 4 RBI.