“I don’t think I’ve lost any sharpness,” said Clay Hensley in a Portland press conference the previous day.
It appeared he was correct, as he started the game with a nine-pitch 1-2-3 first inning. Beaver bats finally came alive, giving the ballclub its first lead in the series on a Royce Huffman single with the bases loaded to score a pair of runners. Hensley, the tenth Texas native to dawn a Beaver uniform this season, allowed the first Las Vegas run in the second inning. Mitch Jones scored on a Luis Maza sacrifice fly to centerfielder Adam Shabala.
Right-fielder Vince Sinisi made a spectacular one-hop throw to catcher Pete Laforest to nab Delwyn Young, ending Las Vegas’ second. In the bottom of the second inning Shabala belted a leadoff single before Hensley helped his cause at the dish, driving Shabala in on a sac fly to center.
Hensley lasted just four innings, throwing 66 pitches, 41 for strikes. He gave up a short-porch leftfield solo homerun to Delwyn Young to lead off the fourth inning. A single to Sergio Garcia was followed by a 6-4-3 double play. After surrendering a four-pitch walk and a hit to the bottom of the Las Vegas order, Hensley got out of the inning by getting leadoff batter Tony Abreu to fly out to leftfield.
“I’ve only been down a few weeks,” said Hensley. “I don’t think it’ll be too hard to get back into things.”
Jared Wells made his first relief appearance of the season. The lanky right-hander made effective use of a changeup, sinker, and fastball to strike out two while walking one through an inning of work.
Up just a run coming into the bottom of the fifth, the Beavers capitalized on the unsound pitching of Las Vegas reliever Casey Hoorelbeke to rack up four more runs. Hoorelbeke pegged Brett Dowdy to lead off the bottom of the inning. Two consecutive Portland hits, including a Vince Sinisi single, and a Paul McAnulty RBI ground-rule double scored Dowdy.
After a 37-minute rain delay, Pete Laforest walked to load the bases before Royce Huffman became the second hit batsman of the inning. That brought in Sinisi to score. The Beavers added another run on a deep sac fly by Brian Myrow to score Laforest. Then the rain starting falling again (in Portland, imagine that!) and a second postponement was summoned. The officials subsequently called the game and Portland was spared their bullpen in the 7-2 win that ended a four-game losing streak.
After the game, Renteria spoke about winning the 500th game of his minor league baseball managerial career, and the game that won it:
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