It took a few innings, but the Spokane Indians adjusted to playing just the second day-game on the home schedule, scoring six runs from the fourth to the seventh innings to earn a three-game sweep of Yakima, winning 6-1 Monday afternoon at Avista Stadium.
Josh Richmond played a big part in the win, going 2 for 3 with a solo home run and two runs scored in his return to the lineup after leaving the field with a leg injury during Friday’s game.
“It felt really good. My leg was hurting the first couple of days and they wanted me to take a couple of days off,” Richmond said. “It isn’t fun sitting there and watching your team play. It felt good to get out there and get in the swing of things.”
Richmond did just that, ripping a single in the fourth inning and scoring on a sacrifice fly by Brett Nicholas. The run was the second of the inning and gave Spokane (8-5) a 2-1 lead.
Two innings later, Richmond hammered a pitch from Greg Robinson over the left field fence for his second hit.
The Bears (7-6) took an early lead in the top of the first inning as an infield single by Zach Walters plated Mike Freeman to give them a 1-0 lead. But Spokane starter Juan Grullon settled in from there, allowing just the one run on four hits in 41/3 innings. His night was cut short, though, by a blister on his pitching hand that forced him to come out of the game in the fifth inning.
“(Grullon) pitched great,” Richmond said. “He had a blister on his finger or else he would have gone six, seven or even eight. He was warmed up and had some good stuff going on tonight.”
Kevin Johnson (2-2), who has logged just 161/3 innings this season, came on in the fifth inning and forced a double play to end the inning and went two more innings to earn the win.
Taking the loss for Yakima was Andrew Berger (2-3), who went four scoreless innings before getting the two runs in the fifth, both on sacrifice flies.
“(Berger) pitched well for them,” said Andrew Clark, who led the Indians with three RBIs. “You got to give him credit. He threw well and mixed his pitches well. He kept us off balance, but we were able to get some runs in the middle of the game to push ahead and stay ahead so that was good for our offense.”
Clark added a two-run single in the seventh inning, giving him seven hits and five RBIs in the series.
Ryan Strausborger had a three-hit game for the Indians, adding a run and a stolen base from the leadoff spot.