If there had been any doubt Jim Eppard knows baseball, it was erased Monday night.
A night after predicting his team would shake off a seven-error, 14-1 thrashing by Spokane, the Portland Rockies rebounded with a 12-3 rout.
“They know, like this club knows,” Eppard said, pointing toward the Spokane dugout. “It’s only one game. I was talking to my wife today and she said, ‘You probably like those (big losses) better than the 1-0 ones.’ She’s right. Last night I was just sitting here wishing it would get over. I’m sure that’s what Jeff (Garber, the Spokane manager) was doing tonight.”
Eight of Portland’s starters had hits in the 14-hit attack, and eight scored runs. Kent Zweifel, after two days off, led the parade with four hits, two runs and three RBIs. He led the way in the key inning - a 13-batter, nine-run sixth which he started with a double and made the rout offical with a two-run double.
“It’s nice to come out after two nights on the bench and have a good game,” Zweifel said. “It was a pick up for me and the team. It’s the only two games I’ve sat in a while but I hit extra every day in the cage and in batting practice I worked hard.”
An interesting pitching matchup was lost in Portland’s big inning that deflated the crowd of 3,406. Jake Kringen started for the Rockies, riding a string of 20-plus innings without giving up an earned run and three wins in four decisions. He faced 18-year old Corey Thurman, who just arrived in Spokane from the Gulf Coast League on Sunday with a 2-1 record and 2.38 earned run average.
Kringen’s string ended when Goefrey Tomlinson led off the bottom of the first with a home run to right-center. He benefitted from the big inning to even his record at 4-4 after an 0-3 start. He went six innings, giving up seven hits and no walks with four strikeouts. Thurman went five innings, allowing four singles and two earned runs with three walks and four strikeouts, leaving with a 3-2 lead.
See boxscore in Stat Sheet/C4.
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