A week ago, .500 ball seemed a long way off for the Helena Brewers.
Thanks in part to a huge night from Jose Gomez, the Brewers are one game above .500 after defeating the Missoula Osprey 11-1 Saturday in Missoula.
It was the sixth win in a row for the Brew crew.
The Brewers put up five runs in the fifth inning, beginning with a solo shot home run from Gomez, his first of the season. Dallas Carroll, who finished 1 for 5, followed that up when he singled on a line drive to center field, scoring two more runs. Gabriel Garcia wrapped up the inning’s scoring when he hit his second homer of the season, plating two more runs. Garcia finished 2 for 3 at the plate, throwing two runs and walking twice.
Missoula mustered only run in the bottom of the fifth. Andy Yerzy hit a grounder that bought enough time for Keshawn Lynch to score.
The Brewers' offense kept chugging along in the sixth and seventh innings.
Shortstop Antonio Pinero hit a sacrifice fly to bring in the Brewers sixth run in the sixth inning. Pinero went 2 for 4. Nick Roscetti followed that up after a throwing error gave him plenty of room to run.
Gomez capped the scoring in the top of the seventh inning when he blasted a grand slam over the left center field wall. He finished the evening 3 for 5 with 5 RBIs.
Nelson Hernandez (2-0) made his third start on the mound and had another good outing. The 6-foot-2 righty threw five innings and gave up seven hits, but allowed only one earned run while walking one and striking out another.
The Brewers used three from the bullpen in relief, and the squad combined to give up two hits through four innings of work.
Helena outhit Missoula 13 to 9. The Osprey had some self-inflicted damage with three errors, while the Brewers played a clean game. Missoula left 10 men on base, while the Brewers stranded eight.
After starting the season looking for consistent hitting and pitching, the Brewers are looking like a force to be reckoned with in the Pioneer League. They'll try to extend the winning streak on Sunday, when they resume their three-game series against Missoula. The first pitch scheduled for 5:05 p.m.