Indians hitch ride with Garia again
Leadoff hitter swats third homer in 2 games
The rest of the Spokane Indians, including the pitchers, are tied for second in club home runs with zero.
Leadoff hitter Chris Garia, who is expected to leg out hits and steal bases, hit his third homer in two nights late Monday as the Indians outlasted Boise 5-3 in 11 innings to complete a five-game Northwest League series.
Garia connected off Matt Iannazzo (0-1) with two out and Marcus Greene at second base after a single and wild pitch. Garia’s homer sailed high over the left-field fence one night after he hit two to the short porch in right.
Garia has five homers during four professional seasons, but he leads the league early in this season.
“Yesterday he pitched me outside, outside and then when I go to hit (today), I think he’ll throw me outside,” Garia said. “Then after two balls, one strike, I looked for a good pitch to hit and I hit it.”
“It’s starting to rain, I’m tired, I’m old,” Indians manager Tim Hulett said. “It’s funny because these games don’t generally end on a home run because everybody’s trying to hit one.”
Spokane won the last four games of the series to improve to 5-6 and move within one game of second-place Vancouver in the North Division.
The Indians had lost 13 consecutive extra-inning games.
Spokane scored first in all five games in the series.
The game was played in a persistent drizzle, with the darkest clouds moving over the stadium in the fourth inning. The rain also increased slightly in the seventh and 11th innings.
Cam Schiller had a hand in Spokane’s first three runs and made a defensive play at first base to save a run in the seventh. Schiller was 0 for 9 during Spokane’s season-opening homestand, but he is 9 for 29 since.
Schiller’s single to center in the first scored Garia, who walked, stole second base and moved to third on a flyout for a 1-0 lead.
David Bote’s two-strike, two-out RBI single to center in the fourth tied the game at 1.
Boise starter Trey Lang retired nine consecutive batters until Kevin Torres’ triple to center to lead off the fifth. Although Torres was later thrown out at home, the Indians loaded the bases for Schiller, who was hit on the foot by a pitch for a 2-1 Indians lead.
The Hawks (4-7) knotted the game at 2 with back-to-back doubles by Carlos Penalver and Jacob Hannemann. Schiller saved another run with a diving stop of Shawon Dunston’s one-out grounder.
A throwing error by third baseman Jose Dore in the eighth allowed Spokane to edge ahead 3-2, but Boise responded in the ninth with Dunston’s RBI groundout on which Alberto Triunfel made a great stop.
The Indians’ eight-game homestand will continue tonight with the first of three games against the Vancouver Canadians. Spokane is 1-2 against Vancouver this season.
Outfielder Hirotoshi Onaka was called up to the Myrtle Beach (S.C.) Pelicans of the Class A Advanced Carolina League. Onaka hit .182 (2 for 11) in six games with the Indians.