Wilson Soriano got the better of Ryan Cordell in the sixth inning Wednesday, but Cordell waited for the perfect moment to answer back.
Cordell’s two-out RBI double over the head of center fielder Soriano in the eighth inning gave the Spokane Indians (18-15) a 2-1 win over the Tri-City Dust Devils (15-18) to cap a three-game series at Avista Stadium. Spokane won the series 2-1 and is 5-1 against T-C this season.
Spokane scored twice in the eighth off second Dust Devils pitcher Jerad McCrummen, who hadn’t allowed an earned run in 13 innings this Northwest League season when Janluis Castro started the rally with a one-out single to center field.
Castro moved to second on a balk and took third on Chris Garia’s single to right. Kevin Torres tied the game at 1 with a sacrifice fly to deep left field, bringing up Cordell with Garia at second.
Cordell, who went 3 for 3 to boost his batting average to .267, still had the sixth inning on his mind. After singling to left in that inning, he stole second base and saw the ball bounce into center field. Soriano’s throw cut him down at third.
“Cordell got deked by the third baseman on the throw,” Indians manager Tim Hulett said. “(The third baseman) was just standing there nonchalant. I told Ryan, ‘You have to be watching me because I won’t trick you.’ It’s just a lesson to be learned.”
“I was a little disappointed, so I was glad I was able to come up there late in the game with runners on,” Cordell said.
Cordell lashed McCrummen’s curveball over Soriano’s head, easily scoring Garia for the lead.
“I knew right away,” Cordell said. “I squared it up and hit it right on the sweet spot. … I think right off the bat (Soriano) knew it was going to be over his head, so he might have been playing a little bit shallow because they didn’t want to let that winning run get in.”
Keone Kela made his Indians debut and earned the save with a scoreless ninth after the Dust Devils produced back-to-back one-out singles. He struck out the last two batters.
“It’s kind of funny,” Hulett said. “We’re thinking (after the top of the eighth), it’s 1-0, let’s get the new guy in to get him an inning of work in maybe a nonpressure situation. Then we go out and we score two runs and he has to come in for a pressure situation.”
The comeback allowed the Indians to avoid league saves leader Trent Daniel, who was warming up.
Indians starter Kelvin Vasquez and T-C starter Johendi Jiminian dominated the night. Vasquez struck out eight in six innings and Jiminian tossed six shutout innings. They allowed two hits apiece.
The Indians start a five-game series tonight at the Hillsboro (Ore.) Hops. The Indians have never played the first-year franchise, which moved from Yakima.
Spokane’s next home series starts Tuesday, the first of three games with Vancouver. That date marks the start of the NWL’s second half.
Colorado Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd was in attendance. His son Chris plays for the Dust Devils, who are affiliated with Colorado. Chris doubled in the third and scored T-C’s lone run. … Spokane reached the halfway point in home games (19).
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