Portland, Ore. --
Gio Diaz and Joey Cooper hit home runs, and Portland pitching dominated in a 4-1 win over Bend Saturday night at Walker Stadium in front of 1,907 fans.
After trailing 1-0, Diaz connected on a solo shot to left on a 1-2 pitch, tying the game in the third, 1-1.
Portland took a 2-1 lead in the fifth after putting two runners on with no outs. Noah Cardenas successfully executed a sacrifice bunt and Davis Delorefice came through with a sacrifice fly to right that scored Brody Barnum.
Two more scored in the sixth after Jack Murphy had a two-out single, and Cooper homered for a second straight night, this time a two-run opposite field homer over the wall in left.
Three Portland arms held Bend's offense in check, allowing 1 run on 3 hits and striking 16 hitters. The Pickles have 35 strikeouts on the mound through the first two games of the series.
Michael Newstrom pitched four innings of hitless ball in his start, allowing one unearned run while striking out seven. Colin Suter pitched through the fifth through eighth, striking out eight and allowing one hit. Brad Bonnefant worked around a couple hits in the ninth to nail down the save, his sixth of the season.
Portland keeps pace with Walla Walla at the top of South Division standings with a 14-8 record. Five games remain in the first half of the season.
The Pickles have won four of their last five games, have won their last two series, and go for the series sweep Sunday at 5:05pm.
Follow the team on Facebook and on instagram and twitter @PicklesBaseball.