Humboldt Crabs starting pitcher Davonte Butler tossed eight shutout innings en route to a 4-0 win over the visiting San Luis Obispo Blues, Saturday afternoon at the Arcata Ball Park. (Jose Quezada — For the Times-Standard)
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If there has been one bright spot for the Humboldt Crabs thus far in 2019, it has been the performance of pitcher Davonte Butler.

After seeing his Crabs give up 14 hits and 13 runs in Friday’s 13-1 loss to the visiting San Luis Obispo Blues, Butler responded by shuttering the same Blues lineup.

Through eight innings of work Butler shutout the Blues, limiting the club to one hit while striking out five during his time on the mound as the Crabs beat the Blues 4-0 Saturday afternoon at the Arcata Ball Park.

Butler wasn’t perfect, however. The starter began his afternoon slightly on the shaky side, walking three Blues batters in the first two innings.

After Butler walked two men to put two on with one out in the top of the second, Crabs’ center-fielder Riley Cleary made an at least one, likely two-run saving catch, diving to do so — the best of many great defensive plays the Crabs made to hold on to the shutout.

“To be honest I thought (Butler) didn’t have his sharpest stuff today, but compliments to him for gutting it out and shutting out a team that beat us around yesterday,” Crabs’ manager Robin Guiver said. “And that catch Cleary made was fantastic, it was an amazing play.”

The Crabs’ bats, mostly absent in Friday’s three-hit loss, made a much-welcomed reappearance at the ball park on Saturday as the home team collected 10 hits in the win.

Carter Thompson scored two with his lone hit of the day — a 2RBI single in the bottom of the eighth which scored Dawson Bacho and Bryce Kirk to put the Crabs ahead 4-0.

The Crabs initially got on the board in the bottom of the third inning after Kokko Figueiredo connected on a single to second base which scored Dylan Johnson. The Crabs doubled up their lead in the following frame after Cleary singled to left field, scoring Aidan Morris. The Crabs would go on to hold a 2-0 lead until Thompson doubled it up again in the eighth.

Bacho and Johnson each recorded two hits in the win while Clearly, Figueiredo and Thompson each had one.

Crabs’ pitcher Steven Ouellette relieved Butler before the start of the ninth inning and closed out the game, giving up nothing and striking out two.

The Blues pitched five players in Saturday’s loss. The starter, Braeden Gowdy, took the loss for his four hits and one earned run in three innings.

The Crabs (5-7), now 8-3 against the Blues all-time, will look to avoid losing their first-ever series to the Blues (13-3) when the two teams meet at 12:30 p.m. today at the Arcata Ball Park for the series finale.

 

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