BOISE – There is nothing like the Boise Hawks to get the Spokane Indians back on track.
Bobby Wilkins and Sam Brown combined to throw seven shutout innings and the Indians ended a three-game losing streak with a 5-1 victory over Boise.
Spokane (35-36) has won the last six meetings with the Hawks (31-40).
The second-place Indians, who lost three straight to East Division cellar-dwelling Yakima, jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the second inning against Boise starter Jon Nagel.
Jared Prince led off with a walk and took second on a single by Clark Murphy. Both runners advanced a base on a wild pitch. Nagel (0-2) struck out Daniel Lima looking for the first out. Alberto Puello plated Prince when his fielder’s choice grounder was thrown away by Boise second baseman Logan Watkins – putting Murphy on third and Puello on second. Denny Duron singled to drive in Murphy and a sacrifice fly by Kyle Rhoad pushed home Puello.
That was it for the scoring until the ninth inning.
Prince was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and Murphy followed with his third home run of the season – a two-run shot run to left field – giving Spokane a 5-0 lead.
Boise’s lone run was unearned and came in the bottom of the inning off reliever Justin King, who pitched the final two innings for his third save of the season.
Wilkins went a season-high 32/3 innings in his first start of the season for Spokane. He allowed one hit and three walks, while striking out three.
Brown (2-1) pitched the next 31/3 innings and surrendered just two hits. He struck out two and didn’t issue a walk.
With Tri-City having already clinched the East championship, the race is on for second place.
Spokane leads third-place Boise by four games with five left to play.