Olt, Indians overpower Canadians
Continue hot hitting in third straight win
Michael Olt tossed his bat aside and headed toward first base, thinking he had drawn a first-inning walk on a 3-2 pitch.
Home-plate umpire Matt Mullins thought otherwise, calling Olt out on strikes.
The next two times up, Olt took matters into his own hands.
Olt hit a three-run homer in the second inning and added a two-run double in the third Thursday night as his Spokane Indians steamrolled the Vancouver Canadians 10-0 at Avista Stadium.
“I was a little bit fired up (after the first-inning strikeout),” said Olt, who leads the Indians with three homers, eight doubles and 16 RBIs. “It definitely motivated me. Obviously, from what (Mullins) thought, it was a strike. … You can’t take it back and I was able to build off that.”
Spokane (14-12) has won the first three games of the five-game Northwest League series by outscoring the Canadians 21-3. Indians pitchers have allowed 12 singles and one double in the series.
Spokane, which is 9-4 at home and has won 13 of 18 overall, lost a chance to take over first place in the East Division when Boise (15-12) rallied with a seven-run eighth for a 10-7 win at Salem-Keizer.
Spokane recorded its second shutout of the season, with starter Randol Rojas (2-1) waiting out long delays in the Indians’ high-scoring second and third innings to check the Canadians (12-15) on two hits over five innings.
“(The delays) did not affect me at all,” Rojas said through interpreter Josue Perez, the Indians’ hitting coach. “I was really focused on keeping the ball in the strike zone and putting the ball in play.”
Rojas, who also won his last outing, has allowed just eight hits during his last 16 1/3 innings.
The night featured a promotion by Gus Johnson Ford to reward a fan with an F-150 truck if the Indians hit a grand slam. Spokane had the bases loaded twice in the second but “settled” for Olt’s three-run drive to left field off a hanging change-up by Anvioris Ramirez (1-2).
Olt wouldn’t have come to bat in the third if not for back-to-back errors by second baseman Nino Leyja. Olt smoked the two-out double to right-center off Josh Bowman.
“We were able to capitalize on some of their errors, and I think lately that’s been the key to our victories,” said the slugger from the University of Connecticut.
The game dragged through the early stages but picked up pace as the teams combined for just four hits after the fourth.
Indians pitcher Zach Osborne was hospitalized with facial injuries after being hit by a batted ball during batting practice. Osborne, a ninth-round selection during last month’s draft, was standing in right field when the accident occurred. He was treated at Sacred Heart Medical Center. … Indians utility player Danny Lima is headed to Arizona for surgery after X-rays detected a broken finger. Lima, hitting .345 in 15 games, was hit by a pitch in a recent game.
Indians 10, Canadians 0
E—Castillo 2 (8), Leyja 2 (5), Rojas (2). DP—Vancouver 1, Spokane 3. LOB—Vancouver 3, Spokane 7. 2B—Kirkland (6), Olt (8), Strausborger (3) HR—Olt (3).
Balk—Ramirez. HBP—Nicholas (by Quigley). T—2:31. A—4,207.