First-half champion Indians open second half with setback
KEIZER, Ore. – The second half of the Northwest League season began much differently than the first half for the Spokane Indians.
Salem-Keizer sent 12 batters to the plate during a seven-run fifth inning and Christian Arroyo drove in four runs Tuesday as the Volcanoes dispatched the Indians 10-4 at Volcanoes Stadium to inaugurate second-half play.
The Indians won the North Division first-half title and a postseason berth with a 25-13 record. Spokane won its first six games and 10 of its first 11.
Salem-Keizer finished the first half 18-20 and four games behind South Division champ Hillsboro.
The Indians and Volcanoes kicked off a five-game series and the first of 10 games that will be played between the teams this season.
The Volcanoes flexed their muscles early against Indians starter Reid Garrett (3-1). Leadoff batter Johneshwy Fargas walked, Seth Harrison singled and both moved up on a wild pitch. Arroyo followed with a two-run single to left field.
Spokane answered in the top of the second on Saquan Johnson’s no-out RBI single to left, but the Volcanoes took a 3-1 lead in the third on Travious Relaford’s RBI groundout.
The Volcanoes’ fifth began innocently enough with Arroyo’s leadoff single followed by two outs. Sam Mende singled home Arroyo from second, moved to second base on the throw from the outfield and scored on Jonathan Jones’ single.
Ryan Ledbetter relieved for Garrett and endured this sequence: single, walk, wild pitch, walk, infield error, wild pitch, single and single. Arroyo drove in another two runs on the second-to-last single.
Trailing 10-1, the Indians struck for two runs in the sixth and one in the seventh. Johnson had his second RBI single of the game in the sixth, followed by Chuck Moorman’s sacrifice fly. Jose Trevino added an RBI single in the seventh.
Spokane dropped to 11-9 on the road and 11-10 against teams from the South.
Wednesday: Spokane at Salem-Keizer, 6:35 p.m.