PASCO – Miguel Velazquez slugged his eighth and ninth home runs of the season to lift the Spokane Indians over the Tri-City Dust Devils on Thursday night in the first game of a crucial three-game series between the Northwest League baseball rivals at Gesa Stadium.
With the victory the Indians, tied with the Boise Hawks for second place in the East Division, moved within six games of the Dust Devils, defeating Tri-City for the fourth time in their last five meetings.
Velazquez gave the Indians the lead for good in the seventh inning with a one-out, three-run homer for a 6-4 lead. Kyle Rhoad and Daniel Lima, who both had singled, scored ahead of Velazquez.
Spokane added two runs in the eighth on Clark Murphy’s double that scored Zach Zaneski and Rhoad’s bunt single that brought home pinch runner Aja Barto.
Velazquez’s first homer of the night, a two-run shot in the fifth inning, tied the game at 3 before the Dust Devils added a run in the bottom of the inning. The blast also broke a four-way tie for the team lead in home runs. His five RBIs left him with 33 this season, best on the team.
Johnny Gunter (1-3) earned the win.
The Indians have 17 games left. Only two of those are with the Devils.