Even when they finished with a one-hitter, the Spokane Indians had to hold on in the seventh inning of Friday's Game 2 at Avista Stadium. Read story
Through six innings of the second game of a doubleheader, the Indians led 4-0 and were one at-bat short of a perfect game: Juan Kelly's single to right field to lead off the fifth.
But working his fourth inning of relief, Omarlin Lopez lost his control in the seventh and final inning. Lopez hit Justin Atkinson with a pitch with one out. He struck out Kelly for the second out, but walked Sean Hurley and Connor Panas to loaded the bases.
Suddenly, Vancouver was one swing away from tying a game in which the Indians had outhit the Canadians 9-1.
Lopez got ahead of Rolando Segovia 0-2 with two breaking balls, including one that Segovia ducked away from, before getting a game-ending groundout to shortstop Dylan Moore.
Lopez's wildness was kind of a gift to Indians right fielder Todd McDonald, who didn't attempt a diving play on Kelly's single. That kept the postgame discussion to how close Spokane came to a no-hitter rather than a perfect game.
McDonald told Indians radio announcer Mike Boyle on his postgame show that he lost the ball in the lights. With the Indians protecting a 2-0 lead, McDonald said he didn't want he ball to get past him for possible extra bases.
McDonald, batting .177, connected on his second homer of the season in the sixth to give the Indians much-needed insurance runs.
Spokane collected 14 hits in the opener as its team batting average, last in the league, improved to .238.