August 28, 2010 in Sports

Spokane Indians open homestand with win

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Zach Osborne and Josh Richmond have returned to the Spokane Indians’ lineup as the team gears up for Northwest League postseason play.

Osborne earned his first save and Richmond doubled and scored Saturday night during the Indians’ 3-2 win over Boise to open a three-game series – the team’s final homestand of the regular season.

The 2-hour, 6-minute game at Avista Stadium was Spokane’s shortest nine-inning contest of the season.

Osborne has had the biggest road back, a layoff of nearly seven weeks after being hit in the face by a batted ball during batting practice.

“It was just a freak accident, but it could happen to anybody,” said the right-hander from Houston, who was standing in the outfield when the mishap occurred.

Osborne worked one perfect inning Thursday during Spokane’s 13-3 win at Yakima. This time, there was more on the line.

Protecting a 3-2 lead in the ninth, Osborne mowed down the Hawks 1-2-3, with two strikeouts to cap the save.

“It definitely felt good to get in a game like that, 3-2, and get the save … especially at home in front of our crowd,” he said.

Richmond missed nine games after breaking his thumb while sliding home during a game at Salem-Keizer. He has been cleared to hit but can’t return to the outfield yet.

“Swinging the bat, I don’t feel much pain at all, but catching is a different story,” said the University of Louisville product.

Richmond returned Friday in Yakima but went 0for 3. His first hit since Aug. 16 came in the second inning Saturday, a double to right field after Andrew Clark led off with a single against Brent Ebinger (2-2).

Clark scored on Jurickson Profar’s groundout to shortstop. Richmond scored on Santiago Chirino’s one-out single to center for a 2-0 lead.

The Hawks tied the game in the third off Randol Rojas (5-3). League batting leader Alvaro Ramirez (.351) had an RBI double and scored on Elliot Soto’s single.

Rojas, Brett Weibley and Osborne checked the Hawks during the final six innings on one hit.

Ryan Strausborger tripled off the wall in center with one out in the third and scored the go-ahead run on Jake Skole’s single.

Spokane improved its home record to 26-10 and leads the season series with Boise 4-3.

Boise entered the night seven games behind East Division second-half leader Yakima with nine games left. Yakima is all but assured of hosting first-half champion Spokane on Sept. 6 for Game 1 of the NWL divisional playoffs.

Notes: Spokane right fielder Strausborger was named NWL offensive player of the week for the week ending Aug. 22 after batting 12 for 23 with seven extra-base hits and seven runs. … Indians relievers Ben Rowen (1.20) and Kevin Johnson (1.38) have allowed just eight earned runs in a combined 56 innings. … Indians third baseman Michael Olt is hitting .417 (15 for 36) in his last nine games.

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