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Gorrell's complete game vaults TJs into first

YAKIMA, Wash. ­ It was a night of firsts Monday for the The SouthernOregon Timberjacks.

As in the first complete game of the year ­ which second-year pitcherChris Gorrell provided in the Timberjacks 7-4 victory over the Yakima Bears.

And as in first place, which Southern Oregon took sole possession ofin the South Division of the Northwest League with their seventh straightvictory ­ a streak made more impressive by the fact that all the winscame on the road.

Portland, which has led the division most of the season and came intoMonday tied with the Timberjacks, lost 6-1 at Salem-Keizer to drop a gamebehind Southern Oregon ­ who haven't held the top spot this late inthe season since 1989 when they won the division title.

The Rockies open a four-game series with the Timberjacks at Miles Field,beginning at 7:05 p.m. tonight. The series includes the completion of aJune 29 game that was suspended by rain. That contest will be completedas the first pair of a doubleheader Wednesday.

Gorrell ­ who brought a 5.47 ERA into Monday's start ­ continueda string of strong pitching performances yielding only one earned run inhis complete game. The right-hander scattered 11 hits, struck out five andwalked three during the outing.

Gorrell's outing surpassed the longest start of the year for SouthernOregon, which was Marcus Jones' seven-inning stint in Sunday night's 3-0victory over Yakima.

Jones, a rookie right-hander out of Long Beach State, earned NorthwestLeague pitcher of the week honors after going 2-0 without yielding an earnedrun in 13 innings against Eugene and Yakima last week. He is 3-3 with a4.70 ERA.

The Timberjacks took a 1-0 lead in the second when Adam Piatt walked,stole both second and third and then scored on an error.

Southern Oregon went up 3-0 in the fourth on Ed Farris' two-run singlebefore Yakima got on the board in the bottom of the inning when Kimami Newtonhit a groundout that allowed Derek Peoples to score from third.

Javier Flores led off the sixth with a double for the Timberjacks andscored on a pair of passed balls. Victor Hernandez added an RBI single laterin the inning to secure a 5-1 lead for Southern Oregon.

But a dropped fly ball by right fielder Hipolito Martinez in the seventhinning opened the door for two unearned runs by Yakima that came on an RBItriple by Cash Riley and an RBI double by Joe Patterson.

Farris hit a solo homer ­ his fifth long ball of the year ­ withone out in the eighth to push the lead to 6-3 and Adam Robinson added anRBI double in the ninth for further insurance.

Newton doubled in the ninth for Yakima, took third on an error by Piattand then scored on a sacrifice fly before Gorrell could close the bookson the victory.

Martinez came into Monday's game as the top hitter in the Northwest Leaguewith a .339 average. He went 0-for-5 on the night.