EUGENE, Ore. – It was a stroll in the ballpark for the Eugene Emeralds on Saturday night.
Eugene used eight walks – six in the fourth inning – and cruised to an 8-2 victory over the Spokane Indians in Northwest League baseball play at Civic Stadium.
The game got away from the Indians (9-13) in the bottom of the fourth. Trailing 2-0 Spokane starter Matt Thompson gave up a one-out single and a walk and was replaced by reliever Shane Zagarac.
Zagarac walked the first batter he faced to load the bases and then surrendered a two-run double to Edinson Rincon and a run-scoring wild pitch to make it 5-0. Zagarac then walked the next four batters before being pulled with his team trailing 7-0. He failed to get an out and allowed three earned runs on one hit and five walks.
Joseph Ortiz put an end to the inning’s walkfest by striking out Christopher Tremblay with the bases loaded and inducing a flyout from Jason Codiroli as Eugene (9-13) sent 11 men to the plate.
The loss drops the second-place Indians six games behind the East Division-leading Tri-City Dust Devils (15-7).
Thompson (1-2) took the loss for Spokane. He allowed four runs on six hits and three walks. Ortiz was stellar in his relief effort. He didn’t give up a hit or a walk in 32/3 innings of work, while striking out six.
Spokane pushed across a run in the top of the fifth, but had a chance to really do some damage. Clark Murphy led off with a single. Emmanuel Solis singled to put runners at the corners. Edward Martinez followed with a single to score Murphy, but Solis was thrown out at third base on the play. Kyle Rhoad delivered the Indians’ fourth straight one-bagger, but Daniel Lima flew out to left field and Miguel Velazquez struck out to end the threat.
The Indians’ final tally came in the top of the ninth on a two-out solo home run to center field by Solis.
Eugene has taken two of the first three games in the five-game series. Today’s game is slated for 4:05 p.m.