Timely hitting, relief pitching lead the way
YAKIMA – Aja Barto finished 4 for 5 and leadoff batter Joseph Bonadonna drove in two runs Thursday night to lift the Spokane Indians to a 6-3 win over the Yakima Bears in Northwest League baseball play at County Stadium.
Spokane (5-8) has won the first two games of the three-game set to close within one game of second-place Yakima (6-7) in the East Division.
Kyle O’Campo (1-1) pitched two hitless innings for the win. O’Campo entered with the Indians protecting a 4-3 lead. Chris Matlock pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his second save.
The Bears reached Indians starter Ben Henry for an unearned run in the first. Ryan Wheeler was hit by a pitch with two outs, took second on Matthew Davidson’s single to center and scored on shortstop Denny Duron’s error.
Spokane took the lead for good with a two-run second off Andrew Wolcott (0-2). Barto and Jared Prince both singled and scored, Barto on a groundout and Prince on an infield error.
The Indians added a run in the third as Vinnie DiFazio doubled to right with one out and scored when the next batter, Barto, singled to right.
The lead grew to 4-1 in the fourth. Kyle Rhoad singled to center with one out, stole second base and scored on Bonadonna’s two-out single to center.
The Bears trimmed the deficit to 4-3 in their fourth. Gonzaga University product Tyson Van Winkle started the rally with a one-out single to left. After Tyrell Worthington struck out, Gerson Montilla hit his first homer of the season, scoring Van Winkle.
Spokane gained insurance with a two-run sixth, aided by walks to Prince and Rhoad by Ariel Brea. The Bears turned to reliever Alex Thieroff, who allowed an RBI double to the first batter he faced, Duron. Rhoad then scored on Bonadonna’s groundout.
Yakima threatened in the eighth, with runners at first and second and nobody out. Joseph Ortiz coaxed a double play and got Van Winkle on an infield pop.