VANCOUVER, British Columbia – The Spokane Indians can point to a specific pattern to explain their 1-5 start to the Northwest League baseball season.
In all five Indians losses, including Wednesday afternoon’s 8-3 setback at Nat Bailey Stadium, Spokane’s rival has scored first.
Second baseman Evan Van Hoosier’s two-out throwing error in the second inning led to a 3-0 Vancouver lead as the two-time defending NWL champion Canadians topped Spokane to complete a three-game series.
Vancouver won the series 2-1, including Tuesday’s game in which the Canadians jumped ahead 3-0 after two innings and edged Spokane in 12 innings.
Spokane won Monday’s opener 10-1, the lone time this season that the Indians scored first in a game. Spokane fell behind 5-0, 6-0 and 3-0 in being swept during its season-opening home series against Everett.
Vancouver starter Eric Brown (2-0) allowed five hits and one earned run in 62/3 innings, striking out five and walking two. Canadian left fielder Ronnie Melendez, batting ninth in the order, drove in three runs, including a two-run single in the second.
Indians starter Alex Gonzalez (0-2), a first-round draft selection earlier this month, allowed four hits and no earned runs in two innings, striking out one and walking none.
Spokane’s Cam Schiller led off the fourth with a double to left and scored after two groundouts to cut Vancouver’s edge to 3-1.
The Canadians added two runs in the sixth, aided by three wild pitches and an outfield error.
Spokane cut the deficit to 5-2 in the eighth when Chris Garia led off with a walk and scored on a balk. Vancouver answered with a three-run eighth highlighted by Dickie Thon’s two-run double to center.
The Indians’ Brandon Garcia doubled to lead off the ninth and scored on a double play.
Leadoff hitter Garia finished 2 for 4 to boost his batting average to .320.
Spokane begins an eight-game homestand on Thursday night with the first of five games against the Boise Hawks.