The Spokane Indians outhit the Northwest League's top-hitting team, the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (.264) by a count of 9-7 on Friday night, but Spokane mistakes and a big two-run homer by S-K's Jeremy Sy led to a 5-2 Indians defeat. Since Spokane's series-opening win on Wednesday, a 6-4 decision in 11 innings, the Volcanoes have outscored the Indians 14-5 while posting two victories. Read story
Friday's game, much like the end of Thursday night's game, was played in steady drizzle or outright rain. Indians grounds keepers worked hard all day to get the field ready, although balls hit to the outfield Friday produced splashes.
"The field played OK," Indians manager Tim Hulett said. "It was obviously wet in the outfield, but I don’t think it affected the play that much."
Center fielder Jamie Jarmon dropped a fly ball in the first inning that led to the Volcanoes' first run. Four Indians converged on the short fly ball, and the wet grass may have been on their minds. Left fielder Brandon Garcia called for the ball before Jarmon dropped it.
"That ended up costing us a run in the first inning, but we came right back (in the bottom of the inning) when Cam (Schiller) hit a laser over the right-field wall to tie the game up there," Hulett said.
On the Volcanoes' second run, in the second inning, Randy Ortiz, at first base, broke for second and drew a throw from Indians catcher Marcus Greene. The errant throw went to the outfield, allowing S-K catcher Ty Ross to score from third.
"We have the big, slow runner at third and if we don’t throw it away, then he’s out at home," Hulett said. "I was OK with (making the throw to second). We just didn’t execute the play."
The two errors helped put Spokane starter Collin Wiles in a 2-1 hole, but Wiles retired eight consecutive batters before walking Tyler Hollick and serving up Jeremy Sy's two-run homer in the fifth.
Indians reliever Abel De Los Santos struck out five in 2 2/3 innings and Mike Zouzalik closed out the game with 1 1/3 perfect innings and two strikeouts.
"(De Los Santos) has been striking out a lot of guys lately," Hulett said. "He has a good, quick arm going and his changeup has just been great."
The Indians fell 3 1/2 games behind first-place Everett in the North Division second-half standings. Because Everett won the first half, the Indians may have to record the division's second-best overall record to make the playoffs. Vancouver (27-22) is three games ahead of Spokane in that regard, and Tri-City has tied the Indians at 24-25.