YAKIMA, Wash. – The Yakima Valley Pippins used a balanced offensive attack to topple the Kelowna Falcons, 9-4, and take the series at Yakima County Stadium on Wednesday night. The Pippins scored multiple runs in three separate innings off of four different pitchers in the win.
Kelowna (3-9) jumped out to an early lead against Pippins (8-6) starter Mark Finkelnburg in the second innings, when they used an RBI single from Tylor Nixon to take the lead, and then extended it on an error by Pippins third baseman Owen Cobb. The Pippins needed some time to get the offense rolling, but finally got to Kelowna starter Marcus Cain in the fourth inning.
Using two walks and two hit by pitches, the Pippins loaded the bases and then cut the deficit to one run before Cain was pulled for left-hander Ian Turner. Turner proceeded to balk in the tying run. While the Falcons would take the lead back in the 5th off of another balk, Turner surrendered the lead back in the 6th.
The Pippins batted around for the first time this season in the sixth inning, starting with a double from James Bell, his first hit in a Pippins uniform. A few batters later, Ty DeLancey, in his first game as a Pippin, hit an infield single that drove in the tying run, and Christian Padilla followed with an RBI single. Two batters later, with the bases loaded, red-hot Tanner Parker hit a bases-clearing double to right-center field to break the game open.
Finkelnburg was relieved by A.J. Wood in the fifth inning and took his 3rd consecutive no-decision, in perhaps his best start of the summer. He allowed 3 runs, 2 of them earned, on 6 hits, 2 walks, and 4 strikeouts in 4.2 innings. Cain took a no-decision for the Falcons after allowing 2 earned runs on 1 hit, 4 walks, and 2 punch-outs in 3.2 frames.
The Pippins tacked on two more in the 8th inning when Parker launched a two-run homer to right field off of Kelowna reliever Zach Jacobs. Parker has now hit safely in 9 straight games, and extended his multi-hit game streak to eight. Kelowna would add one more unearned run in the ninth off of Pippins reliever Jahred Butler.
Turner took the loss for Kelowna after allowing 2 runs in 1.1 innings, while Wood, who tossed 3 scoreless frames out of the bullpen, earned his first win of the WCL regular season.
The Pippins will welcome in first-place Victoria to Yakima County Stadium on Thursday to conclude a three-game series that began last week at home. Left-hander Darius Garcia will make his second start of the summer for the Pippins against a to-be-announced starter for Victoria. First pitch is set for 6:35 PM PT, with pregame coverage with Miles Klotz beginning at 6:20 PM at pippinsbaseball.com/live.
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