Jamie Jarmon and the Spokane Indians made the most of their second chances on Sunday.
Jarmon went 3 for 4 with three runs batted in, including a two-run single during a six-run eighth inning, as the Indians rallied past the Eugene Emeralds 8-4 at Avista Stadium.
For Jarmon, it was like a new start to the Northwest League season. He hadn’t played since June 24, when he reaggravated a hamstring injury against Boise.
Jarmon entered the game 1 for 16 (.063), but his average jumped to .200 by the end of the day.
“I haven’t seen a lot of pitches for 2 ½ weeks, so I thought it was going to be a little rough, but I came back tonight and I was able to put some decent swings on a couple of balls,” Jarmon said.
“Actually, it was phenomenal for him to be out that long and come back and have that kind of day,” Indians manager Tim Hulett said. “We’ve been talking to him for quite a while about shortening his swing up and being more competitive early in his at-bats, especially with guys on base.”
For the Indians (13-11), the late-game comeback came one day after they scored four runs in the bottom of the ninth against Eugene (8-16) but lost 9-8.
Spokane also gained some redemption by rallying despite having second baseman Gabe Roa and catcher Kevin Torres ejected. Home-plate umpire Josh Root and first-base umpire Brandon Butler heard several choruses of boos during the afternoon.
Roa was ejected after throwing his helmet following a close play at first base to end the third. The Indians had scored two runs, the second on Jarmon’s two-out single to center, and had two runners aboard while trailing 3-2.
“Gabe’s deal was he threw his helmet on the ground, which in any fashion you’re getting thrown out,” Hulett said. “I have no issue with that at all except … that we lose Gabe.”
Torres was ejected after striking out with runners on first and second and nobody out in the sixth, with Eugene leading 4-2. Root, heading out to check on an Emeralds meeting on the mound, tossed Torres while he sat in the dugout.
The ejection worked out in a way because Torres’ replacement, Brandon Garcia, started Spokane’s big eighth with a one-out double. The Indians had six hits during the inning, including Alberto Triunfel’s double to tie the game at 4 and Marcus Greene’s single for a 5-4 lead. Jarmon’s single scored Triunfel and Cam Schiller for a 7-4 edge.
“We only scored in two innings, but the guys had really good at-bats, one right after the other, and put it together,” Hulett said.
Mike Zouzalik (1-0) pitched two scoreless innings, with three strikeouts, for the win.
Eugene’s runs came off three homers, two in the second against starter Yohander Mendez. Wynton Bernard hit a solo shot to left and Henry Charles hit a long two-run homer to right.
“I don’t know that the pitches were that bad, but (Mendez’s) pitch selections were not the best,” Hulett said. “You gotta use your fastball to speed them up so your off-speed can fool them.”
Trae Santos added a deep blast to right leading off the sixth against John Straka.
Spokane leads the five-game series 3-1. The Indians improved their home record to 8-7 and their record against South Division teams to 7-2. Eugene is 2-8 on the road.