The Eugene Emeralds took the field for the first time in 610 days on Tuesday.
In their first game as the High-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants, they beat the Spokane Indians 9-5 at Avista Stadium. A big offensive team effort and four dominant innings from right-handed pitcher Caleb Kilian propelled Eugene to an opening night victory.
The Giants’ No. 6 prospect Patrick Bailey was the star of opening night, going 3-for-5 with a home run and three RBIs. Diego Rincones also recorded three hits including a homer. The Emeralds hit four homers total.
The starting lineup featured five players in the Giants’ top 30 prospects, including the night’s starting pitcher, No. 30 Kilian. The top four hitters in the lineup were among the top 17 prospects in the Giants’ system, and the top three were first-round picks.
Kilian, 23, came into Tuesday’s outing with 16 professional innings under his belt without allowing an earned run. He came onto the scene strong, striking out the side in order in the first inning.
The Emeralds got on the board in the third, as Bailey hit a solo home run to left center. Back-to-back homers from Sean Roby and Rincones to start the fourth inning extended the Emeralds’ lead to 3-0.
Kilian was rolling. He cruised through the Indians’ lineup, allowing only two hits while striking out nine through the first four innings.
Bailey led off the fifth with his second hit, and Hunter Bishop, the Giants’ No. 4 prospect, singled to put runners on the corners. Logan Wyatt, the Giants’ No. 17 prospect, then brought in a run with another single to make it 4-0.
Roby hit the fourth consecutive single to start the inning. With two outs, Eugene second baseman Tyler Fitzgerald blasted a three-run homer to bring the Emeralds out to a dominant 7-0 lead.
Kilian was taken out for Nick Avila after throwing 60 pitches in four masterful innings. He has now pitched 20 innings without allowing an earned run in his professional career. Avila threw a perfect fifth, but gave up a solo homer in the sixth to make it 7-1.
Another home run for the Indians in the seventh cut the Emeralds’ lead to 7-2. Eugene responded by adding two more in the eighth on an RBI double from the Giants’ No. 12 prospect Will Wilson and an RBI single from Bailey.
The Indians rallied to get a run back in the bottom of the eighth, and Avila was pulled with the score at 9-3 and runners on the corners with one out. Ryan Walker relieved him and allowed an inherited runner to score, but recorded a strikeout to hold the lead at 9-4.
Eugene’s R.J. Dabovich allowed a solo homer with two outs in the ninth, but was able to close out the game with a 9-5 victory.
The Emeralds are now 1-0 on the young season. They’ll continue their six-game series against the Indians on Wednesday, May 5 at 6:30 p.m.