Spokane Stumbles 18-6 As Hot Start Turns Cold
The sun shone brightly on a season- high 7,089 fans at Seafirst Stadium on Friday. A bit too bright, in fact, for Southern Oregon left fielder Duane Filchner.
By the time the sun set, however, Filchner still had a radiant feeling. His three-run homer in the fifth inning started the A’s on an 18-6 comeback win over the Spokane Indians.
“Actually, I got hit (near the right elbow) by a pitch in the first inning, so I wasn’t thinking homer,” Filchner said.
In front of a large crowd enjoying the 80-degree night, Spokane (6-9) played its most frustrating Northwest League game of the year. The Indians committed seven errors, including four during a five-run sixth. Spokane entered the game with a league-low 13 errors.
Spokane vented its anger in the ninth, when A’s pinch-hitter Mike Klostermeyer had to swerve to avoid a Craig Sanders pitch over his head. Klostermeyer started toward the mound and was corraled by Indians catcher Patrick Hallmark. Both benches cleared but no ugliness ensued. Klostermeyer ended up walking and sparking a five-run inning.
The evening appeared favorable after Spokane jumped to a 4-0 lead after two.
The Indians’ quick start came at the expense of Filchner, who was gazing straight into the setting sun when Tony Miranda, Emiliano Escandon and Brett Schafer sent first-inning fly balls in his direction. All but Schafer’s should have been routine outs; all were ruled singles as the squinting left fielder stood his ground.
Spokane could have done major damage in the second against starter Kevin Mlodik, as five of the first six batters reached base and three scored. Following Escandon’s two-run double, though, the Indians whiffed twice and were on their way downhill.
The A’s rebound began in the fourth, against starter Stephen Prihoda. The lefthander, whose string of 12 1-3 consecutive nohit innings ended with Bill Knight’s double in the third, allowed Manny DaSilva’s one-out, two-run homer to left-center before departing for Allen Sanders.
Sanders (0-1) would like to forget his Spokane debut, although he didn’t receive team support. He allowed nine runs - four earned - in 1 2-3 innings. The backbreaker was Filcnher’s blast to right-center with two out in the fifth.
The shot made the score a manageable 6-4, but that would end in an embarrassing fashion during the sixth. The first three A’s batters against Sanders reached on infield errors. After a walk, David Slemmer spanked a single to left past a drawn-in infield. Left fielder Scott Kortmeyer allowed the ball to dribble past him, clearing the bases.
The fourth installment of the five-game series is tonight, with a couple of big bangs expected. Spokane will start ace Modesto Villarreal (2-0, 1.59) against Kevin Gunther (0-1, 3.00). After the game, the Indians and The Spokesman-Review will present a fireworks display. Spokane has used five designated hitters this year, including Roland (.333) and Miranda (.302).
, DataTimes MEMO: On deck
The Indians host Southern Oregon at 7:05 tonight
On deck The Indians host Southern Oregon at 7:05 tonight