The Spokane Indians have established patterns while starting the Northwest League season 4-0. In each game, the Indians' starting pitcher has worked at least five innings and earned the win. In each game, Spokane relievers have been (mostly) stingy. To top it off, the Indians are not only piling up good hit numbers — Monday's game was their third with nine or more hits — but the hits are coming at crucial times and often resulting in runs. Spokane goes for a five-game sweep of Eugene on Tuesday night, a feat last accomplished during a season-opening, five-game series in 1997. Read story
Three Northwest League teams entered play Monday with perfect records. Only the Indians (4-0) emerged with their undefeated record intact, as Boise and Vancouver both lost.
Spokane manager Tim Hulett didn't want to talk too much about 5-0, except in general terms.
“(Tuesday) the goal is going to be to win THAT game,” Hulett said. “You can start looking at those streaks one way or another, whether you’re winning or losing, and lose focus of just showing up and preparing for that day’s game.”
“It’s a great start for us right now,” Indians catcher Marcus Greene said. “We have to keep it rolling and finish strong.”
Greene can put matters in perspective. Last year's Indians started 1-6.
“It’s just a whole different atmosphere from pitchers, to infielders, to outfielders, to hitters,” he said. “It’s just a whole different ball game on the field.”
Greene's homer was his fourth as a professional.
Greene was also hit by a pitch for the second consecutive game, taking this shot on his left hip.
Indians leadoff hitter Eduard Pinto went 2 for 5 to place his average at .471 (8 for 17).
Indians outfielder Doug Votolato, a ninth-round selection this month from Central Arkansas, made his pro debut and went 0 for 4, reaching base twice on errors.
Spokane first baseman Fernando Vivili doubled off the wall in the fourth inning for his first RBI of the year.
Indians pitchers combined for a season-high 14 strikeouts, five by starter Reed Garrett. Spokane's pitchers are averaging slightly more than nine strikeouts a game.