The Spokane Indians were one swing away from extending their winning streak to seven games on Saturday night, but too many early-game blunders came back to haunt them. Spokane's four-run ninth inning wasn't enough in a 9-8 Northwest League loss to the Eugene Emeralds. Despite a rocky night for their pitchers and baserunners, the Indians had the bases loaded and one out in the ninth inning before their last-gasp attempt fell shy. Spokane leads the five-game series 2-1 headed into Sunday afternoon's game. Read story
Spokane's home record dropped to 7-7, but the Indians have still won seven of their last 10 games at Avista Stadium.
Spokane has only nine home games left in July.
Saturday's setback was only the second time Spokane had lost to a South Division team this year. The Indians are 6-2 against the South and 6-9 against teams in their division.
Eugene entered the game 1-7 on the road.
The Emeralds had hits in every inning but the seventh. They finished with 15 hits to Spokane's 13.
Indians leadoff hitter Chris Garia hit his fourth homer of the season, a one-out solo shot to left field in the fourth. He was momentarily tied for the league lead until Everett's D.J. Peterson hit his fifth.
Spokane's Kevin Torres led off the fifth with his second homer, a deep blast to right that left the ballpark. Torres went 3 for 5 on the night to improve his average to .317, tops among Indians regulars. Garia is hitting .280.
Indians manager Tim Hulett questioned the timing of his players being caught stealing in the third, fourth and fifth. Alberto Triunfel was thrown out at second base for the first out of the third, after the first four batters in the inning reach base. Ryan Cordell was thrown out at second for the second out of the fourth, after the two previous batters had reached base. Marcus Greene was thrown out trying to steal third base in the fifth while Roberto Duran was batting with one out.
Spokane pitchers had an off night, but Travis Dean, who entered in the seventh, allowed three hits and one earned run in three innings, striking out four and walking none.