Brandon Garcia delivered for Kevin Torres, so Torres came up with his own special delivery for Garcia.
Garcia’s two-out, two-strike double to right-center in the 12th inning Friday night scored Torres from first base as the Spokane Indians extended their winning streak to six games with a 4-3 win over Eugene.
While Garcia addressed the media during postgame interviews, Torres exited the dugout with a towel coated with shaving cream, which he applied to Garcia’s face.
Garcia smashed a 1-2 curveball from Brandon Fry (0-2) off the base of the wall, giving a lift to any of the 6,542 fans at Avista Stadium who stayed for three extra innings.
“I knew it wasn’t going to be caught, so that was the good thing,” Garcia said. “Torres just turned it up a little bit and went from first to home. I was glad to see him turn on his booster rockets.”
The Indians have their first six-game winning streak since July 13-18, 2010. They had amassed 40 runs and 51 hits during the previous five wins, but this one came down to pitching and timely hitting.
Spokane (12-10), which started the season 1-6, is quickly moving up the Northwest League’s North Division, closing within three games of Everett (15-7) and one game of second-place Vancouver (13-9).
Eugene (7-15) outhit the Indians 9-5 but had just two hits in the final five innings against Cody Ege, making his Indians debut, Justin Sprenger and Alex De La Cruz (1-0). Sprenger and De La Cruz set down the last 10 Emeralds.
“I think we had a lot (of good fortune) tonight,” Indians manager Tim Hulett said. “They outhit us 7-1 (through seven innings), but our pitching did a good job. They bent a lot, but they didn’t break tonight.”
Indians shortstop Alberto Triunfel forced extra innings by leading off the ninth with his second homer of the season, a deep blast to left-center on the second pitch he saw from third Emeralds pitcher Adam Cimber.
“Fortunately, we got the big home run by Triunfel in the ninth,” Hulett said. “He’s really been hitting the ball well lately.”
Both offenses stalled in extra innings until Torres’ clean single to right with one out in the 12th. Janluis Castro lined out to center before Garcia, batting ninth in the order, got his shot.
“You get a lot more fastballs (hitting ninth),” Garcia said. “Wherever I hit, as long as I’m in the lineup, I’m good.”
Garcia, who hit .231 for the Indians last season, called the double the biggest hit of his Spokane career.
“I’m just glad I could come through for my team,” Garcia said. “They work so hard, the pitching staff, the hitting. We’re relentless. We don’t give up, so I’m awful glad I had the opportunity to come up with the big hit.”
“Garcia had some good hits in (the recently completed series in) Tri-City and it was really good to see him get the big hit to win the game tonight,” Hulett said.
Eugene starter Yimmi Brasoban held Spokane to Torres’ fifth-inning single, striking out four and walking one in five innings.
Emeralds center fielder Ronnie Richardson was in line to be the star of the game, homering, doubling twice and knocking in every Eugene run. Richardson was also 2 for 3 with two walks, one run and one RBI during Thursday’s opener of the five-game series.
Indians reliever Josh McElwee is tied for second place in league strikeouts (22) despite throwing just 91/3 innings. … Indians second baseman Evan Van Hoosier, who has missed 13 games with a back strain, hopes to return during this series. Van Hoosier is hitting .333 (6 for 18) with three doubles. … Spokane pitchers lead the league with 206 strikeouts.
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