Once a strength, the Hawaii Stars’ pitching has turned into a liability, offering another subpar performance and aiding to the team’s four-game losing streak.
Darrick Hale pounded a pair of homers and had three RBIs to lead the San Rafael Pacifics over the Stars 8-4 in a North American Baseball League game on Saturday night before 828 fans at Albert Park in Northern California.
The Stars (18-17) and Pacifics (23-12) close the six-game series today. The two teams start a six-game series at Wong Stadium, starting at 5:35 p.m. on Tuesday.
It’s the third straight game a Hawaii starter hasn’t turned in a quality start (six innings and three earned runs or less).
Steve Raburn (2-1, 4.70 ERA) was on his way to breaking that trend until he ran into trouble in the sixth, an inning he pitched to four batters and didn’t record an out and saw a 3-2 deficit turn into a 7-2 hole after he was yanked.
The 6-foot-5 right-hander, who pitched a three-hit shutout in his last start, gave up a bases-clearing double to Zack Pace, ending his night. In five innings, Raburn allowed seven runs on nine hits and four walks, and he struck out two.
Michael Kenui pitched two scoreless innings with two walks, and Hawaii closer Roman Martinez allowed a run in an inning.
Pace batted 3-for-4 with three RBIs, and Hale was 2-for-3, hitting a solo homer in the first and a two-run dinger in the fifth off Raburn.
Maikel Jova, the league’s batting leader with a .373 average, extended his hitting streak to 34 games. The Pacifics outfielder was 1-for-4. His only hitless game was the season-opener, when he went 0-for-3 against the Sonoma County Grapes on June 4.
Tyler Pearson earned the win, pitching two-run ball over 5 1⁄3 innings.
Keoni Manago batted 3-for-5, while Steve Tedesco, Matt Hibbert and Jason Thomas added two hits each for the Stars, who stranded 10 on base.
Tedesco extended his hitting streak to 13 games. During that stretch, he’s batting .433 (23-for-53), while raising his batting average from .213 to .289, fourth highest on the team.
In 48 at-bats, Manago leads the Stars with a .438 batting average, while extending his hitting streak to nine games.
New Hawaii pick-up Jensen Torres, a catcher, was 1-for-4, including a solo homer. Infielder Angel Sanchez, who was batting .184 in 103 at-bats, was released.
In the midst of a four-game losing skid, there is consolation for the Stars. They are no longer last in team batting; they are now seventh. However, Hawaii, with 1,194 team at-bats, is last in homers with eight, one less than Maui.
Hawaii 000 020 020 — 4 13 1
San Rafael 100 024 01x — 8 10 3