PASCO – Catcher Brett Nicholas homered and drove in three runs and the surging Spokane Indians defeated the Tri-City Dust Devils 6-3 in Northwest League baseball action Wednesday night.
The Indians, who dropped six of their first seven games to open the season, have now won six of eight to pull within a game of .500 at 7-8.
The victory over Tri-City (8-7) in the rubber game of the three-game series knocked the Dust Devils out of first place in the East Division.
Boise, by virtue of its 4-3 win over Yakima, takes over the top spot – a half-game in front of the Dust Devils. Spokane moved ahead of Yakima into third place – just 1 1/2 games out of the lead.
Tri-City took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning when Indians starter Miguel De Los Santos issued four walks.
The Indians promptly tied the game in the second on Nicolas’ run-scoring single.
Spokane took the lead for good in the third.
Daniel Lima gave the Indians the lead with an RBI groundout. Yefry Castillo doubled home a run and Nicholas followed with a two-run homer to make it 5-1.
The Dust Devils pulled to within 5-3 with two runs in the sixth off Spokane reliever Brett Weibley.
The Indians pushed across the final run of the game in the ninth without the benefit of a hit. Kevin Rodland walked with two outs. He stole second base, stole third base and scored on catcher Dustin Garneau’s throwing error.
Francisco Mendoza (1-0) threw a pair of shutout innings in relief of De Los Santos to earn the victory. Ovispo De Los Santos got the final four outs for his third save.