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Travs Win, AquaSox Lose as M’s Affiliates Split Playoff Series Openers

A little hot Kyle Lewis in your lives.

Odom Walks It Off for Arkansas

The Double-A Arkansas Travelers managed to survive a second inning exit to their ace starting pitching Williams Perez, who was hit in throwing arm by a line drive, to top the Tulsa Drillers 5-4 Wednesday night.

Eric Filia opened the scoring for the Travs with a first inning home run, his first since July 6 and just his 14th extra-base hit since being returned to the Mariners by the Red Sox after reportedly failing a physical nearly three months ago.

You think he knew it was gone?

Soon-to-be Arizona Javelina Matt Walker held the Drillers hitless through 2.1 innings, but walked three en route to surrendering one earned run. Kyle Lewis answered for Arkansas with a two-run home run off Tulsa starter and LA Dodgers #14 prospect Tony Gonsolin in the bottom of the fourth, putting the Travelers on top 3-1.

Lewis is now slashing .400/.526/.800 with 3 HR, 6 RBI, 8 BB, 9 SO, 2 SB over his last nine games.

A solid 2.1 innings of relief from left-hander Matt Tenuta yielded just one walk and one hit while he recorded four strikeouts before turning things over to our old friend Nick Rumbelow in the seventh. After closing the door on seventh, Rumbelow returned to the mound in the eight, and a leadoff walk and a home run later, Tulsa claimed a 4-3 lead through eight innings.

Following a clean ninth inning by Wyatt Mills that included a pair of strikeouts, the Travs entered the bottom of the ninth trailing 4-3 with Texas League MVP Joey Curletta set to lead things off. After a single by Curletta and Dario Pizzano strikeout, Lewis came through in the clutch once again, advancing the tying run to third with a single to center field. Lewis managed to move himself into scoring position when he stole second on a Yonathan Mendoza strikeout, leaving the winning run on second base with two outs for six year minor league veteran catcher Joseph Odom.

The victory gives Arkansas a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five North Division Championship Series. Game 2 will take place in Arkansas Thursday night with Anthony Misiewicz set to toe the rubber for the Travelers with first pitch slated for 6:10pm.

Spokane Strikes Early as Everett Falls 7-3

Rehabbing starter Hisashi Iwakuma was unable to repeat the near-perfect start he posted last week as he surrendered three earned runs on four hits and three walks through 2.0 innings. 2018 fourth-rounder Michael Plassmeyer, who arguably Everett’s most effective pitching over the course of the summer, was roughed up for four earned through just 0.2 innings. Prior to last night’s blowup, Plassmeyer hadn’t allowed more than two earned runs or struck out any less than two batters in any of his 13 appearances on the season.

Everett’s bats were held quiet through most of the night with the one highlight being a second inning two-run home run off the bat of Connor Kopach, who was 1-3, HR, 3 RBI, BB on the night. Harvard alum Noah Zavolas shined out of the ‘pen for Everett, tossing 4.0 scoreless innings, issuing just two hits and no walks while striking out seven.

The AquaSox will turn to ace Orlando Razo Thursday night as they travel to Spokane for game two of the best-of-three series. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30pm with game three taking place Friday at 1:00pm if Everett can manage a Thursday win.