The Spokane Indians started their Northwest League season 1-6, but they are now 4-6 after Sunday's 8-6 win over Boise at Avista Stadium. Spokane had been alone in last place in the North Division for five days, but the Indians ended the day tied with the Tri-City Dust Devils and just two games out of second place. Their three consecutive wins have been tight, however, as they've outscored Boise by one, one and two runs. The teams will complete a five-game series on Monday before Vancouver comes to Spokane for three games. Read story
Spokane's team batting average went from .195 on Friday to .206 on Saturday and .212 on Sunday.
“We’re a good team,” said Sunday's hero, center fielder Chris Garia, who hit two solo homers. “We play hard to win and we’ve won three in a row, so that’s good for us.”
Indians manager Tim Hulett noted that Garia also hit two hard liners to right field during Saturday's second-game win.
“If you think about the night before, he lined out really hard a couple of times and he’s been swinging the bat well, so it didn’t really surprise me today,” Hulett said. “Sometimes it gets him in trouble because he’s really a speed guy and we need to have him get on base. But I’m glad he hit two today.”
Hulett was especially pleased with the first five innings as the Indians built a 7-1 lead.
“We played a great game today, we really did,” he said. “We put runs on the board several different innings. We had the one bad inning (a four-run sixth) from the pitching standpoint and then Richard just lost it.”
“Richard” was third Indians reliever Richard Alvarez, who worked out of trouble after a walk and single in the eighth inning but loaded the bases in the ninth with two singles, a double and a walk.
Justin Sprenger earned the save with a strikeout and double play. Sprenger was well aware that all eyes were on him after he allowed Boise's winning three-run homer in Game 1.
“The last thing I wanted was a single through the hole to score two runs,” Sprenger said. “I wanted a pop fly in the infield, ground ball or double play.”