Hawks seize first in East
Spokane suffers first shutout of year
BOISE – The back-and-forth chase for the East Division first-half title shifted to the Boise Hawks on Tuesday night.
Juan Yasser Serrano (4-0), Carlos Rojas and Aaron Kurcz combined on a four-hitter as the Hawks handed the Spokane Indians their first shutout of the season, 3-0 in 97-degree weather at Memorial Stadium.
Spokane (17-14) dropped one-half game behind Boise (18-14) in the hunt for the Northwest League postseason. The winner of the first half, which ends Monday, will play the winner of the second half in first-round divisional play.
Spokane has seven games left, one more than Boise because the Indians had a June 20 rainout that will be made up as part of a doubleheader Sunday.
Spokane had led the division since Friday. Before that, Boise led the division for 11 of 12 days, interrupted only by Spokane on July 5.
Serrano allowed five hits in three innings while earning his league-leading fourth win. Rojas retired six of the seven batters he faced, and Kurcz pitched two hitless innings for his fourth save.
Boise took a 1-0 lead in the fifth when Indians left fielder Jared Hoying attempted a diving catch on Elliot Soto’s liner. Hoying came up empty and Soto’s double drove in Kyung-Min Na from first base.
Pierre LePage added an RBI double in the seventh, and Wes Darvill had an RBI grounder in the eighth.
Indians starter Randol Rojas (2-2), who won his last two outings, allowed eight hits and one earned run in six innings.
Boise won the series 2-1 and tied the season series at 3 apiece.
The teams had combined for 44 runs and 58 hits during the first two games.
The Indians, 11-4 at home, will get their first look at the Yakima Bears tonight at Avista Stadium.