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Indians ride high with six-run eighth

The Spokane Indians left 13 runners runners on base through the first seven innings of Sunday afternoon's Northwest League baseball game against Eugene. Although they left two more stranded in the eighth, for a total of 15, it didn't matter in the end. Starting with Brandon Garcia's one-out double, seven consecutive Indians reached base and six scored during an 8-4 comeback win over the Emeralds at Avista Stadium. Spokane leads the five-game series 3-1 heading into Monday night's finale. The Indians get their first day off on Tuesday, then they play 10 of their next 13 games on the road, starting Wednesday at South Division-leading Salem-Keizer. Read story


By leaving 15 runners on base, the Indians have stranded 41 during the first four games of the series.

“We left a lot on base and it was a lot of two-out opportunities,” Indians manager Tim Hulett said. “It’s not like we had one out and bad at-bat after bad at-bat. I think sometimes you have to give their pitchers credit.”

Spokane has outscored Eugene 30-19 during the series but hits are equal at 41 apiece. The offenses have been fairly active, considering that Spokane (.221) and Eugene (.214) entered the game as seventh and eighth, respectively, in team batting in the eight-team Northwest League.

Jamie Jarmon, playing in his first game since June 24, had his first RBI since a run-scoring groundout on June 17. Jarmon singled in the second and third, reached on a fielder's choice in the fifth, walked in the seventh and singled in the eighth.

“His first (four) at-bats were pretty good,” Hulett said. “His (fifth) at-bat with the bases loaded he took two big swings and those are the swings we don’t want to see, because it puts you in a hole and gives the pitcher a chance to make a pitch on you. But he got lucky and he got a pitch that he could hit and put in play for a couple of runs.”

“(I've been) just slowing stuff down and not trying to do too much at the plate,” Jarmon said. “Just using my hands. … I went down two strikes, swung at a couple of tough pitches, so I just toned it down a little bit and just tried to stay up the middle.”

Indians starter Yohander Mendez entered with a 1.02 earned-run average in four starts. He had allowed just one earned run in his last 14 2/3 innings, over three starts.

But Mendez allowed two home runs and three earned runs in 4 1/3 innings to boost his ERA to 2.05. Throw in the homer allowed by John Straka in the sixth and the Indians allowed three homers in a game for the first time this season.

Brandon Garcia saw his first live-game action as catcher for the Indians. Hulett played catcher Marcus Greene at designated hitter because of his 3 1/2 hours of catching on Saturday. Sunday's starting catcher, Kevin Torres, was ejected in the sixth inning, opening the door for Garcia to catch.

The last three games in the series have flirted with or slightly surpassed the 3 1/2-hour mark. Thursday's opener was “only” 3:15.


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