Among possible Father’s Day presents Spokane manager Tim Hulett could receive today, he wouldn’t mind one being wrapped in the form of a victory.
For the second straight night, the Indians fell into an early hole only to succumb by the same score, 6-4, Saturday to the Everett AquaSox in a Northwest League baseball game before a standing-room-only crowd of 6,991 at Avista Stadium.
Poor pitching and defense were the prime reasons the Indians found themselves trailing 6-0 through five innings.
Everett had just one run-scoring hit. The AquaSox brought in four more runs via a sacrifice fly, ground out, hit batter and walk. They left 16 on base.
“We need to pitch better early in games so we’re not down five runs after four innings,” Hulett said. “After that it was a pretty even game. We haven’t created much offense, but that’s just going to take some time.”
Through four innings, two Spokane pitchers had allowed four hits and five walks to go with hitting three batters. On top of that, the Indians had committed two errors.
Everett finished with nine hits and benefitted from nine walks.
Spokane got two runs thanks to two wild pitches in the ninth for the final margin.
Hulett said the Indians must tighten things up on the mound early to give the team a chance.
“We need to do a better job of managing things earlier in the game,” Hulett said. “For these guys it’s their first time out still. They still have the jitters a little bit. Once guys get comfortable we’ll play much better I’m sure.”
Hulett believes pitching will end up being a team strength.
“Some of it is, is we’ve got some guys down there that haven’t pitched yet that have pitched here before,” Hulett said. “You’re trying to save them maybe for a save or in the right situation. You’re down five runs you don’t want to use those guys at this point. (Today) we’re going to use them regardless what the situation is because they need to get in.”
Janluis Castro had two of Spokane’s three hits including a two-run double in the sixth inning.
The Indians gave the AquaSox several extra outs.
“We call them free bases,” Hulett said. “You give them a free base and it’s going to come back to haunt you. Defensively, we made some miscues that came back to bite us.”
Hulett hopes the Indians’ early pitching tonight steps up.
“We need a good start to give us a chance to get into the game,” Hulett said.
Three Everett hitters had two hits apiece.