From the penthouse to the poorhouse

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The Volcanoes were knocked out of first place on opening day, and by press time they were last in their division, stumbling to a 1-4 record.

Here’s a recap of opening weekend and this week’s games as of press time:

An 11-3 beating at the hands of the Everett AquaSox opened the 2010 season for the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes on June 18.

The Volcanoes, defending Northwest League champions playing before a home crowd of 2,853, showed a few flashes of ability but were behind from the start and struck out 12 times.

Catcher Alex Burg was the Volcanoes’ hitting star, leading off the bottom of the fifth inning with a home run that was the first Salem-Keizer hit of the game, as well as singling and scoring in the ninth. Kaohi Downing had the best pitching performance for the Volcanoes, relieving in the eighth inning only and striking out the side.

Everett’s starting pitcher, Yoervis Medina, went seven innings and had nine of the AquaSox’s strikeouts. Everett scored three runs in the fifth inning and four in the ninth.

Medina pitched four perfect innings before Burg homered.

Everett’s first two runs came in the second inning off starter Taylor Rogers. Jose Rivero hit an infield single, and Kevin Rivers followed with a homer over the right field fence.

In the third, Anthony Phillips singled to right field and scored on a double by Kevin Mailloux.

A pitch from Rogers that hit Phillips started Everett’s three-run rally in the fifth. Dwight Britton doubled down the left field line, moving Phillips to third. A wild pitch scored Phillips and moved Britton to third. Serrano singled to right center, driving in Britton. He then stole second base and went to third on an error. Mailloux walked, and Shane Kaufman came in to pitch. Serrano scored on a passed ball, and Kaufmman struck out the next two batters to retire the side.

In the AquaSox seventh, Serrano doubled to right field and scored on Mailloux’s single to center.

Austin Hudson took over the AquaSox’s pitching in the seventh.

Jake Dunning pitched for the Volcanoes in the ninth. He started by loading the bases with singles by Britton and Serrano and a walk to Mailloux. A wild pitch scored Britton. Evan Sharpley doubled to center, driving in Serrano and Mailloux. A grounder by Rivers sent Sharpley home.

In the Volcanoes’ ninth, Jose Medina and Burg singled, and a triple by Rafael Rodriguez scored both of them.

“We  just struck out too many times,” Volcanoes manager Tom Trebelhorn said. “That starting pitcher was quite good.”

He commented that all four Volcanoes who pitched in the game “showed they could pitch,” but that except for Downing, they were not consistent. He said Rodriguez “ran out that triple better than I’ve seen him run, ever.”

“They were throwing good pitches all night,” Burg said of the AquaSox. He recalled that his home run was off a fast ball on a 3-2 count.

Downing, who sees his future in late-innning relief, had an observation about his teammates hitting.

“Tonight, when when we hit the ball,” he said, “it didn’t get into the gaps.”

Saturday, June 19
Everett 5, Salem-Keizer 3

The Salem-Keizer Volcanoes lost 5-3 to the Everett AquaSox at home Saturday in their second game of the season.

Everett scored all its runs in the fourth inning, Salem-Keizer all its runs in the sixth. The Volcanoes’ three came on a home run by Jesse Shriner with Raynor Campbell and Carter Jurica on base.

For the first three innings, the game was a pitchers’ duel between the Volcanoes’ Edward Concepcion and the AquaSox’s Anthony

Fernandez. Concepcion struck out the side in the third on 10 pitches.

In the top of the fourth, Everett’s Terry Serrano walked and stole second and third bases. Kevin Mailloux and Evan Sharpley walked. Jose Rivero’s single down the left field line scored Serrano and Mailloux. Kevin Rivers walked. Robbie Anston singled Rivero home. Sharpley scored on a passed ball and Rivers on a wild pitch.

Manager Tom Trebelhorn brought Brennan Flick in to pitch. Anston stole second, but Flick retired the next three batters.

Serrano led off the fifth inning with a triple to deep center field, but Flick set down the next three men.

In the Volcanoes’ fifth, Kyle Mach doubled with two out and advanced to third on a passed ball, but Fernandez struck out Carlos Quintana to the end the inning.

Rivers led off the Everett sixth with a triple off the center field wall, but the next three batters grounded out, hit into a fielder’s choice and popped out.

Ogui Diaz, taking the mound for the Volcanoes’ sixth, hit Campbell, who stole second. Jurica walked, and Shriner hit his homer over the left center field fence.

Mario Rodriguez pitched the seventh, allowing a single to Serrano but facing only three batters because Serrano was caught in a rundown between first and second.

In the eighth, Fray Martinez came in to pitch and, with one out, loaded the bases by hitting Jurica, giving up a double to Jose Medina and walking Shriner. However, he retired the next two batters.

“The bullpen was great,” Trebelhorn said. He added that Concepcion “was what we hoped he’d be for three innings.”

Trebelhorn gave a game ball to Chris Lofton, who got the first Volcano hit of the game, a first-inning single, and followed it with his club’s first stolen base of the season. Lofton also made the first Volcano outfield play of the game, a running catch in shallow center field.

“I’m seeing the ball better,” he said.

Shriner, who moved from catcher to first base during the game, said he was not concerned which position he played as long as he could keep hitting.

“We’re getting our feet under us,” Shriner said of the two-day old season. “We have nothing to worry about in the first few games.”

Lofton is not related to Kenny Lofton, a former star center fielder for the Cleveland Indians and Atlanta Braves. However, one of his teammates, Julio Izturis, is a brother of big leaguers Cesar and Maicer Izturis, and three Volcanoes are related to former major leaguers. Quintana’s father, Carlos Quintana, played first base for the Boston Red Sox. Mach’s grandfather, Phil Gagliano, played second base for the St. Louis Cardinals. Danny Brock, a first baseman who just joined the club, is the son of Greg Brock, a former Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman, and the grandson of Joe Brock, former Stayton High School baseball coach.

Brock comes from St. Louis University. Also new to the Volcanoes’ roster is Adam Duvall, from the University of Louisville.

Sunday, June 20
Everett 7, Volcanoes 6

(10 innings)

Continued improvement in Salem-Keizer hitting was not enough to stop visiting Everett from making the season-opening series a three-game sweep June 20.

The Volcanoes, in fact, outhit the AquaSox 3-8 and tied the score with a three-run rally in the ninth inning.

Raynor Campbell hit a two-run triple in the ninth and scored on a single by Rafael Rodriguez to give the Volcanoes their first extra-inning game of the season.

In the top of the 10th, Kevin Mailloux put Everett one run ahead with a home run over the left field fence. Chris Lofton walked to lead off the bottom of the 10th, but Julio Izturis grounded into a forceout, and relief pitcher Chris Kessinger retired the next two batters.

Monday, June 21
Volcanoes 5, Boise 2

The Volcanoes’ first road game of 2010 put them into the win column as they downed the Boise Hawks 5-2 June 21.

Starter Shane Kaufman was the winning pitcher, going five innings. Mario Rodriguez relieved him for two innings, and Jake Dunning finished the game, getting a save.

Jose Medina and Jesse Shriner both homered for Salem-Keizer. Chris Lofton, Shriner and Carter Jurica had two hits apiece.

The Volcanoes led all the way. They scored two of their runs in the fourth inning, when both home runs were hit.

Tuesday, June 22
Boise 6, Volcanoes 2

Boise whipped the visiting Volcanoes 6-2 June 22, leading all the way.

Salem-Keizer was outhit 11-5 and did not score until the fifth inning, when the Hawks had scored four of their runs. Three of the Boise runs came on home runs, a solo shot by Richard Jones in the third inning and a two-run homer by Alvaro Ramirez in the fifth.

Relief pitcher Marcos Perez was the winner. Matt Graham started for the Volcanoes and took the loss. Carlos Quintana had two of Salem-Keizer’s hits and scored one of the Volcanoes’ runs.

Game recaps by Herb Swett. Jason Cox also contributed to this article.

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