Hillsboro lags its competitor by eight games after losing five of their last six games to the first-place Ems at rival Eugene.
After the series loss, the team had a second-half record of 11-19 and was eight games behind the Emeralds, who were in the first place.
Since they defeated Vancouver at the end of May, the Hops have not defeated a team other than the Tri-City Dust Devils in a series.
Vince Harrison, manager of Hillsboro, stated, “It’s complicated. “You can’t really pinpoint one thing, but we just have to keep grinding and pushing these guys to fight through those tough moments and not just give in.”
All momentum from the Hops’ brief series victory against the Dust Devils following the MLB All-Star Break appears to have been wasted in a season that has frequently seen them take one step forward and two steps back.
Hillsboro won the third game they played at Eugene after losing the first two, but they lost the next three matches by a cumulative score of 24-9.
Harrison remarked, “Talk about how one or two plays can swing the game’s momentum. That’s what happened to us three or four times.” “Their batters deserve some credit for capitalizing on our errors, but most of it was due to us and some unfortunate timing. Sadly, we are now on the opposing side.”
Hillsboro lost three games this week by a combined score of 5-4, making one-run losses the week’s recurring theme.
Three two-run leads in the middle or late innings were blown by the visiting Hops, who had the lead in five of the six games in the series and four of their five losses. The Hillsboro pitching staff had a cumulative earned-run average of 6.80, which is unacceptable, except for Jamison Hill, who produced a gem in a 5-4 loss on July 29.
The bullpen had a tough week overall, according to Harrison. “We clearly had some opportunities and were in a position to shape our future, but this week we didn’t handle it very well.”
The 23-year-old Hill, who pitched 5 2/3 innings on Thursday, July 28, allowing no earned runs while striking out 13 and walking two, was one pitcher who did manage it effectively. Unfortunately, Hillsboro’s bullpen blew the 3-1 lead, and the game ended in a 5-4 defeat for the Hill and the Hops.
Harrison was careful not to diminish the right-efforts hander’s when he remarked it was unfortunate to waste such a strong outing.
Harrison added, “The man gave up one hit the whole game.” He made some fantastic throws, but a few errors caused his performance to be overshadowed.
Division De La Santos and A.J. Vukovich were two additional players that stood out despite the team’s dismal performance.
Vukovich, who entered play this week’s batting.268 with eight home runs on the season, went 8 for 24 in the series six games while also adding three doubles, six RBIs, and three stolen bases.
De Los Santos kept up his impressive performance after getting transferred from Visalia to Hillsboro on July 22. The 19-year-old slugger hit.385 with six runs batted in a while, also hitting three home runs in Eugene. The Dominican has been playing in Hillsboro for over a week and is hitting.385 with four home runs and a.718 slugging percentage.
Harrison said he had been impressed with the young man’s efforts so far despite not being astonished by what he had seen.
He said, “I wasn’t surprised. “Anyone who has seen him, in my opinion, is aware of his potential and abilities, but he is only 19 makes it even more astounding. I believe that everyone in the organization is aware of his abilities.”
But can he make this team successful?
Although the goal of the lower leagues is to nurture young talent, neither the players nor the coaches enjoy losing. Harrison declared that winning games remains his main priority, and they will continue to concentrate on gaining momentum moving ahead.
He remarked that we have some good hitters and some pitchers with good arms, but we still need to develop some of these players. We need everyone to contribute, and momentum starts to grow when it happens frequently enough.
This week, Hillsboro plays six games at Everett before returning home to host Spokane and Eugene for two weeks.
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