Boise Hawks Beat Rain and Hillsboro, 4-3

by Michael Strickland  

The Hawks overcame a two-run deficit and beat the Hillsboro Hops 4-3 in a rain-delayed game that ended past midnight. Shawon Dunston, Danny Lockhart and Kevin Encarnacion each produced RBIs for Boise, while three relief pitchers allowed three hits and no runs over the final six innings, the Idaho Statesman reports.

Encarnacion extended his hit streak to nine games with his home run in the fourth inning, and the pitching staff recorded a season-high 13 strikeouts.

Battling through two rain delays, the Boise Hawks got six shutout innings from their bullpen and took advantage of a huge error in a three-run seventh, knocking off the Hops before 3,556 fans at Hillsboro Ballpark.

The win pulled the Hawks into a three-way tie atop the Northwest League South Division with six games left - joining Hillsboro and Salem-Keizer with identical 19-13 records.

The Hops took a 3-0 lead in the opening three innings - a George Roberts singled home a run in the first and third innings, with Daniel Palka tripling home a run in the third.

After a nearly one-hour rain delay, Kevin Encarnacion hit his sixth homer of the season to get Boise on the board in the fourth. After another delay in the sixth, Boise took advantage of a hit-by-pitch and two walks in the seventh to load the bases in the seventh, with Shawon Dunston Jr. ending an 0-for-14 slump with an infield single to make it 3-2. Danny Lockhart followed hitting a chopper to first, but Palka's throw to second ended up in left field, allowing a pair to score, giving Boise the lead.

The bullpen did it from there - as Jasvir Rakkar tossed three innings of two-hit ball, striking out a career-high six and Loiger Padron added two hitless frames. Eddie Orozco struck out the side in the ninth for his third save of the road trip.

Carlos Penalver went 2-for-2 with two walks for the Hawks, who finished their 11-game road trip with a 6-5 record.

After a day off tomorrow, the Hawks return home on Wednesday to open a six-game homestand, beginning with a three-game series with Salem-Keizer - as Michael Wagner meets Jake Smith.

Boise, after an 11-game road trip, is back home to start a six-game homestand that will determine its postseason fate. Today gave us this news: One of the tightest pennant races in all of professional baseball has landed squarely in Boise, writes the Statesman staff.

NOTES: Encarnacion extended his hit streak to nine games with his home run...the 13 strikeouts by the Hawks staff equaled a season high...pitching coach David Rosario was ejected in the sixth inning, arguing a stoppage of play.

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