Perez’s pitching helps Indians snap losing streak
The defense returned, the hitters remained hot and starting pitcher Santo Perez owned the Yakima Bears for a second straight start.
It all added up to a 7-4 win for the Spokane Indians, who snapped a four-game losing streak Wednesday in a Northwest League baseball game before 3,167 at Avista Stadium.
Perez, a 6-foot-5 right-hander who signed as a free agent in 2009 out of Bani, Dominican Republic, pitched six innings to improve to 2-0. He handcuffed the Bears for four hits.
Closer Matt West picked up his first save in his fourth appearance, striking out three in 1 1/3 innings.
“That was more like it,” said Spokane manager Tim Hulett, whose team improved to 7-6. “We played poorly defensively (the last four games) and then we got behind in the pitching counts a lot. We minimized the errors tonight and we pitched ahead instead of behind in counts.”
Of the 71 pitches Perez threw, 47 were for strikes.
“As good as he was tonight, he was five times better at their place (last week),” Hulett said of Perez. “That’s two good outings in a row for him. He had his power sinker going. He used his breaking ball a little more earlier in the game. They were on his fastball. We kind of set them up over there, because we threw a lot of first-pitch fastballs. He mixed the breaking ball early in the count and did a great job.”
The only time Perez was in trouble was in the fifth when he threw 17 pitches, walking two batters. But he got out of it with a double play. The Indians had three double plays, two behind Perez.
Trever Adams was one of five Indians with two hits, extending a seven-game streak in which he has gone 14 for 26. Brett Nicholas had two hits and three RBIs and Zach Cone, Carson Vitale and Edwin Garcia also had two hits.
“Every (losing) streak is bound to turn around at some point,” said Adams, a 16th-round draft pick earlier this month out of Creighton University. “We just came to the park ready to play today, like we do every day, and things went our way.”
Adams was impressed with Perez.
“He’s been lights out the last two starts,” Adams said. “He’s got a lot of movement on his ball and uses it to keep guys off balance. As a hitter that’s when it’s tough, when you don’t know what’s coming. And when you do know it’s coming, it’s hard be consistent with it because of the movement.”
Adams was at a loss to explain his recent success at the plate.
“I’ve got a little luck going for me right now,” Adams said.
Jimmy Comerota led Yakima (4-9) with two hits.