PASCO, Wash. -- The Tri-City Dust Devils used 11 hits and three errors from the Yakima Bears to even the three game series at a win apiece in front of a sell-out crowd of 3,759 at Gesa Stadium Saturday night, 9-4.
The Dust Devils' offense gave starting pitcher Tyler Gagnon (2-2) an early cushion, scoring four runs in the first inning. They then tacked on another run in the second, three more in the fourth and another in the eighth. Gagnon made sure the offensive outburst wasn't wasted, allowing four runs on six hits over five innings. Relievers Chris Dennis and Trent Blank combined to work the final four innings for the Dust Devils, holding the Bears scoreless.
Tri-City catcher Tom Murphy extended his hitting streak to a Northwest League season-high 15 games, going 2-for-4 with two runs batted in on the night. Murphy had plenty of help at the plate, with outfielder Kyle Von Tungeln going 3-for-3 with three runs scored. Designated hitter Matt Argyropoulos and second baseman Zach Osborne also did their part, tagging on two hits each.
Bears starting pitcher Daniel Watts (2-4) was roughed up for his worst outing of the season, allowing seven runs on seven hits over 3 1/3 innings pitched. The Yakima bullpen did its best to keep the Bears in the game, but the damage was done. The Dust Devils tallied seven extra-base hits on the night and had 25 opportunities with runners in scoring position.
The series finale between the Dust Devils and Bears is Sunday night at Gesa Stadium in the rubber-match of the final series between the East Division rivals this season. There will be a Dust Devils Team Photo Giveaway to the first 500 fans through the gates before Sunday's game as well, thanks to the Pasco Police Officer's Association. Right-hander T.J. Oakes will start on the mound for Tri-City while righty Austin Platt gets the start for Yakima. First pitch is at 7:15 p.m. and gates open at 6:15 p.m.