AUBURN | The Tri-City ValleyCats set the tone early with back-to-back home runs in the top of the first, as they handed the Auburn Doubledays a 9-4 loss at Falcon Park Sunday.
The Doubledays (24-16) have lost two straight to the ValleyCats, and cling to a 1.5 game lead in the Pinckney Division over the State College Spikes.
Auburn starter Silvio Medina, who allowed home runs by Andrew Aplin and Jobduan Morales in the first, was pulled after 1 2-3 innings and was given the loss. He allowed four hits and struck out one.
Three of the five runs Medina gave up were unearned, as Tri-City took advantage of a pair of Auburn errors and pushed across three runs in the second. Each team made four errors in the game and seven of the 13 runs scored were unearned.
The Doubledays' Jack McGeary pitched 1 2-3 innings of relief, allowing another two runs in the fourth when Aplin and Morales each had RBI singles.
The ValleyCats totaled 14 hits, with Aplin going 4-for-5 and Morales going 2-for-4.
The Doubledays went through four relievers to try to slow down the league's top offense.
Auburn's Cody Davis allowed two hits over 1 2-3 innings, but gave up two more unearned runs in the fifth.
Elliott Waterman and Andrew Wall, a Newfield native making his second relief appearance, finally closed the floodgates for the Doubledays, each throwing two scoreless innings.
Although the Auburn offense registered 10 hits, it had trouble stringing them together and grounded into four double plays.
ValleyCats starter Joe Bircher allowed five hits and one earned run over five innings for the win.
The Doubledays' Carlos Lopez went 3-for-4 with three singles, a walk and a pair of RBI. He drove in Tony Renda in the first and Khayyan Norfork in the seventh.
Auburn's two other runs came in the fifth, when Estarlin Martinez worked a bases loaded walk to bring in Spencer Kieboom and Renda scored on a Wander Ramos sacrifice fly.
Martinez went 2-for-4, bringing his hitting streak to 12 games. Wes Schill also went 2-for-4 and has a seven game hitting streak.
Auburn will look to salvage the final game against Tri-City today at Falcon Park.