Last-place Vallejo slams Stars
It's a good thing the Hawaii Stars picked up easy wins earlier against the East Bay Lumberjacks and Santa Rosa Rosebuds.
The Stars went 6-0 against the two semi-pro teams from San Francisco at the nice comforts at home.
Against everyone else, including competition from the Pacific Association, they've mightily struggled.
Wednesday night was a perfect example.
The last-place Vallejo Admirals went off on the Stars for 16 hits, including three homers, in a 12-1 rout at Wilson Park in Vallejo, Calif., emphasizing Hawaii's struggles against other pro independent ballclubs.
The Stars fell to 13-19. Take away the six wins against the semi-pro foes, which count in the league standings, and Hawaii is 7-19.
The Admirals improved to 9-18. They are the renamed Sonoma County Grapes, last season's cellar dweller.
Rigoberto Almonte fired a four-hitter, walked two and struck out three. He allowed only an unearned in the fourth and needed just 96 pitches to finish off the Stars.
Almonte, 26, was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2008 by the Milwaukee Brewers. The right-hander spent four seasons in the organization's farm system.
Katsuaki Furuki, who entered the 12-game road trip batting over .400, has seen his average fall off a cliff. He went 1 for 3 and is now hitting .340.
Everyone else on Hawaii's roster is hitting below .300.
Matt Stropoli surrendered eight runs in three innings on eight hits and four walks. Andrew Preimesberger also went three frames and let in four runs.
Reece Alnas was the lone bright spot for the Stars. He pitched two scoreless innings in relief. He allowed a hit and a walk, and whiffed two.
Alnas is converting into a pitcher on the fly, starting the season as the team's left fielder. He's 0-0 with a 0.00 ERA in six innings over five games.
Everyone in Vallejo's lineup had at least two hits, except for the leadoff and No. 8 hitters.
Jordan English, Nathan Tomaszewski and Quaid McKinnon all homered for the Admirals, who had five extra-base hits.
The six-game series continues at 4 p.m. HST today.
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