It's been an interesting homestand for the Spokane Indians, starting with the five victories in seven games that have helped the Northwest League team creep closer (6-7) to .500 after starting the year 1-6. The first game of the homestand was rained out, forcing Spokane and Boise to play a doubleheader last Saturday. Monday's game with Boise was played in a persistent rain and ended on a home run by Indians center fielder Chris Garia in the 11th inning. Wednesday's game with Vancouver went 10 innings and ended with Spokane winning on a infield error in the 10th inning. Spokane has won back-to-back extra-inning games after losing 13 consecutive games that went beyond nine innings. Read story
The Indians welcomed back first baseman Barrett Serrato, who played for Spokane during the 2012 season. Serrato has been rehabilitating an injured hamstring in Arizona. He went 2 for 4 with a run in his 2013 Indians debut.
Spokane bats woke up a bit during the final three innings Wednesday, as Chris Garia, Alberto Triunfel, Janluis Castro and Serrato all had singles. Before that, the Indians had been held to eight hits in their previous 16 innings. Spokane entered the day with a team batting average of .204 (78 for 382) and ended the day at .207 (86 for 416).
Vancouver pitchers have been tough on Spokane despite entering the night with the second-worst team earned-run average in the NWL (3.81).
Spokane pitchers Yohander Mendez, Sam Wolff and Josh McElwee retired 12 consecutive batters until Justin Atkinson's game-tying homer with one out in the ninth.
"Our pitchers did a great job and we played some solid defense and fortunately we got the win," Indians manager Tim Hulett said. "But we didn’t get that big two-out hit we’ve been getting lately. But if you put guys on base, it puts pressure on the defense and they have to go into their pen a little bit deeper than they want to."
Spokane catcher Kevin Torres had his first two doubles since his June 21st arrival. Torres also played for Spokane in 2010.
"On the first at-bat, I was sitting on fastball and on the first pitch (Vancouver pitcher Jeremy Gabryszwski) threw me a fastball right on the middle," Torres said. "In the second at-bat, I was looking for the same fastball, but I took the first one for a strike. Then I was sitting on changeup. I finally got to two strikes and he threw me a hanging changeup."