Dustin Nippert, who worked just two innings tossing 37 pitches, struck out five Portland batters in the first two innings. Adam Bass continued where Nippert left off, throwing four perfect frames. After a first inning walk, twenty consecutive Portland batters were retired.
The Tucson bullpen kept Portland hitless until the eighth inning. Royce Huffman squirted a little dribbler to third for an infield hit and the Beavers first hit of the game.
With two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning, Portland pinch hitter Brian Myrow stood in against pitcher Bill Murphy. On a one-and-two count, Murphy throws high and tight on Myrow. As Myrow ducks, the ball hits hit bat and falls into fair territory. As everyone stood dumbfounded and a few seconds pass, Tucson catcher Mark Johnson picks up the ball and throws to first baseman Chris Carter for the third out.
Mike Thompson (0-5) had his best outing of the season, despite taking the loss. Thompson could not record an out in the sixth inning. The right-hander allowed eight hits and four earned runs while walking two and striking out three through five-plus innings of work. A pop-up that dropped in the first inning with two outs was an example of shoddier Portland defense. A Luke Carlin throwing error in the third inning was Portland’s 25th error committed in the past 14 games. Until two weeks ago, Portland appeared to be exhibiting solid defense.
In the ninth inning, the Beavers again came up with too little too late. Vince Sinisi doubled with one out in the bottom of the inning, and with two outs and Sinisi on second base, Pete Laforest launched a homerun.
It would be his fifth of the season and his third ninth inning shot in the last seven days. All of his late inning homers were inconsequential as Portland went on to lose all of those contests.
The Beavers, sustaining some injuries, used all of their position players. The club has 100 games remaining and is 5.5 games back in their division. It is the furthest they have been back all season.