There must be better ways to make a playoff run than the Spokane Indians have shown during the last week. Thursday night's 7-2 loss to the Tri-City Dust Devils gave the Indians a 2-5 record for their current homestand, which ends Friday night at Avista Stadium. The setback, coupled with Everett's victory over Vancouver, knocked the Indians out of first place in the Northwest League's North Division for the first time since Aug. 11. Read story
How the North Division's second half will end is anybody's guess, because every team is involved. Everett, which won the division in the first half, is 14-14 and leads by one game over Spokane (13-15). Tri-City and Vancouver are both two games back at 12-16.
"We got swept last week by the Indians, but we played really well against Boise to put ourselves back into it," said Konner Wade, Thursday's starter for Tri-City. "We’re back into the thick of it. It’s going to be a really exciting last (10) games."
Spokane has one game remaining with Tri-City, three at Everett and six against Everett, split evenly home and away. Vancouver and Tri-City will meet during the final six games of the season while Spokane is playing Everett.
The Indians have struggled against both teams, going 3-6 against Vancouver and 1-5 against Everett. But Spokane hasn't played Everett since June 30.
"Really, we just have to worry about ourselves mostly and just check to see what (the other teams) did after the game," Indians manager Tim Hulett said.
Spokane has played better on the road (17-15) than at home (16-18).
Thursday's big highlight for the Indians was Ryan Cordell's two-out solo homer to left field in the second inning. Cordell, who also homered on Wednesday, tied Janluis Castro for the team lead with four.
It was one of the rare mistakes by Wade, who got some assistance from his defense when Julian Yan threw out Janluis Castro at home in the fourth and the Dust Devils turned a double play to end the fifth.
Wade was drafted in the seventh round this year out of Arizona.
"At Arizona, they gave me the ball and said, go as long as you can," Wade said. .. "Here, you have to be more efficient. I have 75 pitches, so I have to make those count."