Juan LeBron, you might say, doubled his pleasure.
But it was Justin Pedersen who chewed up the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes as the Spokane Indians got back on the winning track after a six-game disaster against the Boise Hawks.
The Indians, who lost four in a row to Boise and five of six in a two-city series, rallied behind LeBron and Pedersen to defeat the Volcanoes 7-2 Monday night and reclaim some ground in the Northwest League North Division.
The Indians’ sixth straight win over Salem-Keizer, but first victory in August, coupled with an 11-0 Boise loss in Eugene, drew the Indians to within seven games of the Hawks.
LeBron, who delivered three doubles in the game to move into a tie for the league lead with 18, got the Indians going in the first inning with a two-run two-bagger.
Salem-Keizer contributed to its downfall by committing six errors, two in the first when Spokane scored three unearned runs.
It looked for a while like the Indians would need more than that.
The first three Volcanoes - Carlos Valderrama (single), Travis Young (RBI triple) and C.J. Ackrum (RBI single) - got to Pedersen, Spokane’s starting pitcher. It was 3-2.
But then the 15th-round draft choice from the University of Minnesota settled down. Before the Volcanoes got another hit off the right-hander - Valderrama’s one-out double in the sixth - he had retired 16 in a row, 10 of them on strikeouts.
Meanwhile, Spokane scored on.
Doubles by Dermal Brown, LeBron and Dave Willis produced two runs in the fifth, when the Indians sent eight men to the plate and left the bases loaded in making it 5-2.
In the top of sixth, Willis’ infield single capped a three-hit inning that made it 6-2 before Pedersen left.
Newcomer Curt Taylor made his first professional hit one to remember when he led off the ninth with a home run over the center field fence for the final margin.
Click here to comment on this story »