Danny Lima boosts Indians
Danny Lima isn’t in the Spokane Indians’ lineup every night, but he’s making the most of every chance he gets.
Lima went 2 for 4, with a triple, and scored twice Monday to guide the Indians (3-7) to a 5-0 win over the Everett AquaSox at Avista Stadium.
Lima has played in only half of Spokane’s games, but he’s 10 for 17 (.588) at the plate while shuffling among third base, second base and designated hitter.
“We have a lot of new guys here,” Lima said after the Indians took a 2-1 lead over the West Division-leading AquaSox (8-3) in the five-game Northwest League series. “They’re trying to get everyone in, and I understand that. I’m just looking at my opportunity to help the team as best I can.”
Lima is one of three returners from last season’s Indians roster. Unlike last year, when he struggled out of the gate, Lima is sizzling. He has seven hits in his last three games.
“Last year was my first year (as a professional player) and usually it’s an adjustment,” Lima said. “But I’ve played here once, so I know what to expect.”
Lima started the season at third base, but he knew his time there was limited once the parent club Texas Rangers signed first-round supplemental draft pick Michael Olt.
The Miami native had a hand in Spokane’s two-run second inning and three-run sixth.
Lima reached on a fielder’s choice in the second and scored on Kevin Rodland’s two-out single to center. Rodland stole second base and scored on Clark Murphy’s single to center.
Lima and Jared Hoying had back-to-back triples to center to start the sixth, which was capped by Jurickson Profar’s two-run double to right.
Everett center fielder Fred Bello attempted to corral Lima’s deep fly with an over-the-shoulder catch, but the ball came off his glove.
Hoying’s triple chased AquaSox starter Yoervis Medina, who had shut down NWL hitters until meeting the Indians. Entering the night, Medina (1-1) had allowed five hits in 112/3 innings while striking out a league-best 16.
Spokane starter Miguel De Los Santos (1-0) was up for the challenge, striking out five and allowing two singles in five innings. De Los Santos hasn’t allowed an earned run in two starts and nine innings.
“I was working inside to hitters with my fastball,” said the fifth-year pro from the Dominican Republic. “I’m excited … just trying to do my job.”
Indians center fielder Ryan Strausborger turned in the defensive gem of the night, sprawling to catch Anthony Phillips’ sinking liner in the eighth, then throwing out Steven Baron at first for Spokane’s second double play.
Spokane’s Andrew Clark, the league’s No. 2 hitter (.393), had the night off. … Everett batters lead the league in runs (58), walks (46), strikeouts (108) and stolen bases (19). … Scott Servais, the Rangers’ director of player development, spent his third and final day visiting the Indians.