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Indians edge Boise twice

The first week of the Northwest League season had been a downer for the Spokane Indians, but the second week is looking up. The Indians played a pair of seven-inning games against Boise on Saturday, a way to make up for Thursday's rainout, and swept the Hawks 3-2, 4-3 with sharp pitching, some timely hits and excellent fielding plays. Spokane hadn't won at Avista Stadium until Saturday and entered the doubleheader with a 1-6 record. Sunday's afternoon game will give the Indians three games in a 22-hour period. Read story

Spokane's team batting average during the day went from .195 to .206.

The Indians are still looking for their first home run after 277 at-bats. The Tri-City Dust Devils also haven't homered. Boise leads the league with seven homers.

Manager Tim Hulett and first-game winner Collin Wiles both said they had ultimate faith in the relief work of Josh McElwee, who got his first save.

“Mac's done a great job for me in the past,” Hulett said. “(Catcher Marcus Greene) behind the dish was outstanding that last inning” as he blocked McElwee's sliders in the dirt to prevent runners from moving up.

Wiles served up Justin Marra's homer in the fifth for his lone earned run.

“(The pitch) was up a little bit,” Wiles said. “The previous batter, when it was 2-0, I had a two-seam that had a little bit more run on it and was down around the knees. That one probably just flattened out a bit. I'd rather have it be a solo home run than a bases loaded grand slam.”

Spokane had all six of its hits in the second game during the first three innings, including three hits during a three-run second off Boise starter Orbandy Rodriguez. Boise pitchers retired the last 12 Spokane batters.

Indians reliever Mike Zouzalik earned the save, retiring four of the five batters he faced, including the big double play to end the sixth. He issued a one-out walk in the seventh before recording a groundout and flyout.

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Jim Meehan (@srjimm) Jim Meehan's coverage areas include Gonzaga University men's basketball, Spokane Shock football, golf and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Chris Derrick Chris Derrick is a sports reporter. His primary coverage areas are the Spokane Chiefs, Spokane Indians, women's basketball and high school softball and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Sean Kramer Sean Kramer is a freelance correspondent who covers the University of Idaho football team and men's basketball team.

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Vince Grippi is the online producer for SportsLink, a product of The Spokesman-Review.

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