Being a one-hit wonder doesn’t work in baseball.
“It’s hard to win with just one hit,” Spokane Indians manager Tim Hulett said.
The Indians experienced that first-hand on Thursday night as three Yakima pitchers combined for 12 strikeouts and a pair of walks in the one-hitter, which the Bears won 5-0 in front of 3,523 fans in Northwest League action at Avista Stadium.
Right-hander Blake Perry started on the mound for first-place Yakima (12-9), which has a four-game lead over Spokane (8-13) in the East Division standings. Perry tossed 52/3 innings, struck out seven and allowed the Indians’ only hit of the night when Gabriel Roa singled on a line drive to left field in the sixth inning.
In the sixth, Perry was replaced by Victor Capellan, who earned the win to improve to 2-0 this season. Capellan pitched through the eighth and struck out five, and RJ Hively closed for the Bears in the ninth.
“Their guy (Perry) was pretty good on the mound for the first five innings,” Hulett said. “I think they just threw a lot of good guys at us tonight and we didn’t get anything going.”
For the first seven innings, neither did the Bears. But in the top of the eighth, they finally broke the scoreless tie with back-to-back home runs.
With two outs, Josh Parr hit his league-leading sixth home run of the season – a solo shot over the left-field wall – and Shaun Cooper followed with his second homer of the season, also a solo shot to left.
Wagner Mateo kept the late rally going with a double to left and scored when Joseph Loftus followed his lead with an RBI double, again, to left field.
The Bears added two runs in the ninth.
“They got timely hits and made it work and we didn’t make a couple of plays we could have made and should have made,” Hulett said. “It’s not surprising they took full advantage of that. We just didn’t put anything together tonight.”
Spokane starter Eric Brooks had his best outing of the season, holding the Bears scoreless – with just two hits – through the first four innings. Brooks was replaced in the fifth by Richard Alvarez, who struck out two and allowed three hits in 22/3 innings, followed by Alec Asher (0-1), who allowed all five runs and picked up the loss.
“Asher’s been our guy,” Hulett said. “He’s been on the back end of a lot of our games and thrown well for us, it was just one of those nights for him.
“Brooks has been throwing great. He’s on a pretty tight pitch count still, so for him to get through four innings on the pitch count he is on was great – he really threw a lot of strikes and went after the hitters. I liked his effort.”
The Indians wrap up their three-game series with the rubber game against the Bears tonight at Avista Stadium.
The Indians will then hit the road and begin a three-game series at Tri-City on Saturday. After a day off on Tuesday, they will return home for an eight-game homestand.
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