Indians build big lead, survive Hawks rally
Spokane extends lead in division to 11/2 games
BOISE – The Spokane Indians built a 9-3 lead after six innings, then held on for a 12-11 win over the Boise Hawks to stay in first place in the Northwest League’s East Division.
The Indians are now 1½ games ahead of second-place Boise in the division standings after their sixth consecutive win.
Jared Hoying hit a three-run home run to lead Spokane’s offensive onslaught, and Michael Olt had two doubles and an RBI. Jurickson Profar went 3 for 6 with two RBIs, and Joshua Richmond also drove in two runs.
The Indians scored two in the fourth, three in the fifth and four in the sixth to back Chad Bell (1-0), who allowed three runs on eight hits over 52/3 innings. He struck out three and didn’t walk a batter, and left the game with a 9-3 lead.
The Hawks rallied against the Spokane bullpen, scoring three runs in both the seventh and eight innings and two runs in the ninth before the Indians were able to record the final out.
Brett Weibley allowed six runs on six hits over two innings of work, and Colby Killian allowed two runs over 11/3 innings before recording his second save.
Boise had runners at first and third with two out in the ninth, but Killian got the Hawks’ Jesus Morelli to hit a grounder to second baseman Santiago Chirino. He threw to shortstop Profar for the force at second to end the game.
The Indians’ series with the Hawks has extra meaning this year because the Northwest League season is split in two. The winner of the first half, which ends July 26, clinches a playoff spot.
Spokane has nine games remaining in the first half – seven of them at home, where the Indians are 11-4 – and Boise has eight.