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Indians’ offense comes alive at right time

Spokane Indians manager Tim Hulett called Thursday night's game his team's top offensive performance of the Northwest League season. Spokane, averaging 3.7 runs through its first 71 games, cobbled together a season-best 16 hits and also reached a season high for runs during a 12-3 win over Everett in the next-to-last regular-season game at Avista Stadium before the season ends at Everett. The outburst was unexpected because the Indians had scored three or less runs in eight of their last 10 games; Everett had won six of seven meeting between the teams this season; and Everett started Lars Huijer, who entered 8-1 with a 2.20 ERA. Spokane kept its slim playoff hopes alive with four games left in the regular season. Read story

The Indians' previous high for hits in a game was 13, set five times, most recently on Aug. 11. They scored 11 runs in a game twice, both in July.

Lars Huijer defeated the Indians in the second game of the season. The Indians' Thursday starter, Ryne Slack, pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings in relief against Everett in the season opener at Avista.

Indians manager Tim Hulett hoped to get Slack the win, but the left-hander, making his fifth start for Spokane, had to give way to ultimate winner Abel De Los Santos (4-1) with one out in the fifth.

"Slack, really, didn’t have good stuff tonight," Hulett said. "He battled to get through 4 1/3. We really wanted him to get through that fifth inning to get him the win with a 7-1 lead ... but with the pitch count, we extended him as far as we could."

Slack walked five, an off night for a pitcher who usually walks less than one batter every three innings.

The Indians know their playoff chances are slim, but Thursday's offensive show gave them a mental boost.

"Playoffs are the only thing on our mind," Indians infielder Evan Van Hoosier said. "Every day we’re working hard, trying to get better and win some ball games."

Spokane can finish dead-even at home by winning Friday night's game at Avista. The Indians are 18-19 at home.




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Chris Derrick
Chris Derrick is a page designer and copy editor for the Sports section.
















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