In a Duel of Aces, Bullpens Crumble in 7-1 Bears Loss - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

In a Duel of Aces, Bullpens Crumble in 7-1 Bears Loss

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By Yakima Bears

        The Yakima Bears lost 7-1 to the Vancouver Canadians Thursday night at Yakima County Stadium. The Bears were no-hit by Vancouver starter Taylor Cole through seven and two thirds innings, but Yakima was able collect two doubles and a run in the ninth inning to avoid both a no-hitter and a shutout.
        Both starting pitchers were outstanding. Bears starting pitcher Daniel Watts allowed one run on three hits and no walks in five innings. The run scored came in the second inning, which was enough to make Watts the losing pitcher. What made the start especially impressive for Watts was a career-high eight strikeouts in a single game, which was also the most strikeouts by a Bears pitcher in a single game in 2012. On the other side, Taylor Cole of the Canadians was even better. Cole retired the first 16 batters he faced and finished with seven and two thirds no-hit, shutout innings. Only two batters reached against Cole, both on errors, and one of those was caught stealing. Cole recorded six strikeouts and lowered his league-leading ERA to 0.81 while improving to 6-0 on the season.
        The bullpens didn't fare as well. Austin Platt of the Bears worked out of some trouble in the sixth inning and allowed no runs in his first two innings. Things turned for Platt in the eighth, as he gave up a solo home run and allowed a total of three runs that inning. Behind Platt, Blake Forslund pitched the ninth and also allowed three runs, but only one was earned. Vancouver reliever Griffin Murphy allowed a pair of doubles and a run, which dashed the Canadians dreams of both a no-hitter and a shutout.
        The Bears were outhit 13-2 in the loss. Wagner Mateo went 1-for-3 with a double and a run scored, as he led off the ninth with a gapper to left-center. Kevin Medrano drove in Mateo with two outs and finished the night 1-for-4 with a double and a run batted in.
        The Bears now trail 2-1 in the five-game series against Vancouver at Yakima County Stadium. Game four Friday has a scheduled first pitch of 7:05. Right-handed pitcher Jose Martinez of the Bears is expected to face right-handed pitcher Javier Avendano of the Canadians.

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