The Spokane Indians have been in control of many of their games during the early stages of the Northwest League season. Saturday night's game at Avista Stadium was different, as the Indians had to score twice in the bottom of the eight inning to dispatch Boise 3-2. The Indians have trailed some games this year during their other wins, but never so far along in the contest. Read story
Indians left fielder Saquan Johnson has struggled again to find his batting stroke, hitting .059 (1 for 17) after two seasons in Spokane with an average of less than .200. Johnson struck out with the bases loaded to end the fourth inning, leaving the score tied at 1.
But Johnson made one of the game's key plays with one out in the eighth and Boise leading 2-1. Hawks first baseman Danny Canela smoked a ball into the left-field corner that Johnson gloved quickly. His accurate throw in to second base nailed Canela for the second out. The next batter, Jesse Hodges, hit a deep fly to right-center that Eduard Pinto caught against the wall.
Even during nights when Spokane's pitching might be labeled as shaky, the term is relative.
"Yet again tonight our pitcher (starter Reed Garrett) was excellent until about the fifth inning when he had a little trouble finding the zone, but he still did a great job keeping us in the game," Indians right fielder Luke Tendler said.
Spokane manager Tim Hulett said relievers Jason Hoppe and Adam Parks, both of whom sport earned-run averages of 0.00, gave the team a needed lift in the final four innings.
"I think our pitchers weren’t as aggressive as they have been," Hulett said. "I think they got a little tentative. They gave up the one home run (Garrett in the third) and all of a sudden we went to the off-speed pitches way too much."