Ducks fall despite solid efforts on the mound

PORTLAND — Oregon got strong efforts on the mound from five different pitchers but couldn’t get much going offensively in a 2-1 loss to Portland in a non-conference game Wednesday at Joe Etzel Field.

Three Portland pitchers kept the Ducks’ bats in check all game long as Oregon managed just four hits. Reliever Tate Budnick entered to start the fifth inning and retired the first 11 batters he faced and allowed just two hits while striking out five over five innings of work to earn the save.

Hunter Montgomery put the Pilots on the board in the second inning with a long two-out solo home run off Oregon starter Hunter Breault.

Taylor Travess answered for the Ducks (19-19) in the top of the third with an RBI double to right center to score Ryne Nelson, who doubled a batter earlier, to tie it at one.

The Pilots (16-24) grabbed the lead for good with a run in the bottom of the third. Beau Brundage reached on a two-out infield single and stole second before Daniel Lopez drove him in with a double down the left field line.

Cullen Kafka and James Acuna highlighted what was a strong combined effort by the Oregon pitching staff. Kafka worked 2.2 scoreless innings while striking out two and walking one. Acuna retired all six batters he faced as he worked the final two innings with three strikeouts and no walks.

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