PASCO – Behind the dominant arms of John Kukuruda and Eric Brooks, and the bat of Joe Maloney, the Spokane Indians took the rubber game against the Tri-City Dust Devils Thursday night with a 2-1 Northwest League baseball victory.
Kukuruda and Brooks shut down the Tri-City offense over eight innings with Josh McElwee pitching the ninth for his fifth save.
Kukuruda lowered his ERA to 1.93, giving up only an unearned run. Brooks (2-1) came on in the fifth and also went four innings. The three Indians pitchers combined for eight strikeouts while giving up only one walk and nine hits.
Along with the impressive pitching performance, the Indians collected 11 hits – the team’s sixth straight game of double-digit hits.
Both teams picked up a run in the first inning and the game stayed tied until the sixth.
After Royce Bolinger – who singled home Cam Schiller for the Indians’ first run – grounded out in the sixth, Ryan Rua doubled off Peter Tago. Maloney then lined a single to left field that drove in Rua.
Eight of the nine Indians in the lineup had at least one hit with Gabriel Roa, Cam Schiller and Smerling Lantigua getting two apiece.
The Indians return to Avista Stadium tonight to begin a three-game series against the Yakima Bears.