The Spokane Indians thought they knew what to expect from Bobby Brosnahan.
That notion proved false Thursday night as Brosnahan ended the Indians’ eight-game homestand on a sour note for the fans at Avista Stadium.
Brosnahan (1-1) pitched five shutout innings, striking out seven, walking none and allowing three harmless singles as his Vancouver Canadians capped a three-game Northwest League series with a 5-2 victory.
Vancouver (8-6) won the series 2-1, as it did in mid-June during a series in British Columbia in which Spokane (6-8) roughed up Brosnahan for seven hits and five earned runs in 4 1/3 innings.
“We hit him pretty good (in Vancouver),” Indians manager Tim Hulett said. “We knew what he had (but) he did a good job today. He mixed his pitches well and he got ahead of hitters.”
“It was the second time I’ve seen this team and I had a little better game plan,” said the 6-foot left-hander from Ann Arbor, Mich. “I had good control of my fastball today and, obviously, lefty-on-lefty I had the advantage and I was able to execute and shut them down.”
Brosnahan entered the game with an earned-run average of 13.50 over two starts.
“My confidence was never shaken or anything,” he said. “I stayed level-headed. The hitters bailed me out in the last outing … so I needed to repay them tonight and I got the job done.”
Brosnahan pitched three seasons for Michigan, with its campus 3 miles from his family home. He didn’t grow up a Wolverines fan, however.
“That would make the story a lot better, but I grew up in South Florida,” he said. “Michigan was never really on my radar, but when we moved there (when he was 12) I realized how good of a school it was, and the baseball team was coming off a threepeat for the Big 10 championship.”
Brosnahan, who had Tommy John surgery as a senior in high school, wasn’t drafted last season but signed a free-agent contract with the Toronto Blue Jays. He went 2-2 for the Canadians as they repeated as NWL champions.
Vancouver staked Brosnahan to a 3-0 lead, including two RBI singles by leadoff hitter Andy Fermin, and added single runs in the sixth and seventh.
The Indians showed some life in the eighth as Canadians reliever Markus Brisker struggled with his control. Brisker walked two batters and threw two wild pitches before Cam Schiller delivered a two-out, two-run double to center in front of a diving Ronnie Melendez.
“It’s too little, too late,” Hulett said. “We’re down five. That’s a tough way to try to get back in the game.”
Spokane finished the homestand 5-3.
“We got some wins under our belt and we just need to be consistent and get the job done on the road now,” Hulett said.
The Indians will play their next six games on the road, starting tonight with the opener of a three-game series against division-leading Everett. The AquaSox are 3-0 against Spokane this season.
Spokane will get its first look at Tri-City with a three-game set that begins Monday.
The Indians will return home for a five-game series with Eugene, starting on the Fourth of July.