Pickles' big inning leads to victory
The Portland Pickles opened a three-game road series against the Yuba City Bears with a 10-7 win on Friday.
A six-run sixth inning paved the way for the Pickles, who improved to 18-22, two-thirds of the way through a 60-game regular season.
The Bears slipped to 10-30.
Portland is fourth in the Great West League. The top four finishing teams will make the league playoffs; the Pickles are 3 1/2 games ahead of fifth-place Marysville. Yuba City is sixth in the six-team GWL.
The teams will meet again at 7 p.m. Saturday at Colusa Casino Stadium in Marysville, California.
Portland got on the board first on Friday, scoring twice in the fourth inning, when Bobby Kinne hit a sacrifice fly and Alex Henwood came through with an RBI single.
Yuba City evened the count in the bottom of the fourth with a home run and run-scoring single.
The Pickles regained the lead with an unearned run in the fifth, but allowed two runs in the bottom half, with the Bears taking a 4-3 lead.
In the top of the sixth, Kinne led off with a home run. Portland went on to score five more times on three more hits in that inning, going in front 9-4.
The Bears struck once in the bottom of the sixth and again in the seventh, closing the gap to 9-6.
Kinne singled home a run in the top of the eighth for a 10-6 advantage.
The Bears got two men on versus closer Dustin Redish in the ninth, but outfielder Hardy made a big, running catch of a long foul ball for the second out. A run scored on the play, but Redish got a strikeout to end the game.
Pickles starter Max Jones (3-2) lasted six innings, giving up five runs (two earned) on eight hits and one walk, with five strikeouts.
Zander Clarke (3 for 5), Matt Hardy (2 for 6, 2 RBIs) and Kinne (2 for 4, 4 RBIs) led the offense.
Yuba City 10-30