The Spokane Indians improved their playoff chances Friday night by breaking through in the ninth and 10th innings for a 6-5 win over the Tri-City Dust Devils to complete a three-game Northwest League series at Avista Stadium. Spokane, in danger of falling two games off the pace in the North Division with nine games to go, started the comeback with a run against league saves leader Trent Daniel in the ninth. Marcus Greene's big leadoff double in the 10th led to Joe Jackson's winning single in a game that damaged the postseason chances of the Dust Devils, who fell three games off the pace. Read story
Spokane won the quick series 2-1, although the Dust Devils dominated big chunks of the three games. Spokane jumped to a 10-1 lead after three innings of Wednesday's opener, but T-C outscored the Indians 14-3 over the next 18 innings.
Indians shortstop Gabe Roa had just three extra-base hits in 169 at-bats this season when he tied the game at 4 in the fourth with a lined double over the head of left fielder Mike Tauchman. Roa had just 13 RBIs this season but finished with a crucial four on Friday.
"(Roa) had a really great game tonight and he’s been swinging it a lot better lately," Jackson said after his winning hit, standing on the Avista Stadium field with celebratory shaving cream on his face.
Indians starter Ryne Slack struck out eight in five innings, allowing six hits and three earned runs. It was a much better effort than the second game of the homestand, when Hillsboro pounded 12 hits off Slack in five innings. Hillsboro has won seven consecutive games, however, so Slack was just the Hops' first victim.
"Slack didn’t have great stuff tonight, but he battled and got into the fifth inning, which we needed because we’re a little thin in the bullpen," Indians manager Tim Hulett said.
Spokane continued a troubling trend with three errors, giving the Indians seven in their last two games.
Eduard Pinto doubled in the third inning to give the Indians outfielder 12 consecutive games of reaching base.
The Indians could use a series win at Vancouver, where they'll play three games starting Saturday. The Canadians are 6-3 against Spokane this season. Spokane and Vancouver have the same overall record this season (34-33). If North Division first-half champion Everett also wins the second half, the team with the next-best overall record will meet the AquaSox in the playoffs.