Jose Trevino and the Vancouver Canadians were stuck in a tie entering Friday’s big Northwest League series opener at Avista Stadium.
Trevino, Spokane’s multidimensional player, broke that tie with two home runs to left field as the Indians (16-6) subdued Vancouver 10-3 to increase their lead in the North Division to three games.
Trevino, who also singled and drove in four runs, moved into a tie with Boise’s Jeffrey Baez for the league lead with five homers. Vancouver (13-9) has hit three homers this season, all by Ryan McBroom.
The news of having more homers than the Canadians and tying for the league lead caused Trevino to shake his head as he and the sellout crowd of 7,064 watched postgame fireworks.
“That’s cool, man,” Trevino said. “That’s awesome. … Keep it rolling.”
The three-game series will go a long way to deciding the North’s first-half title. There are 16 games left in the first half, Vancouver is the only team with a legitimate shot at catching Spokane.
“There are a lot of games left,” Indians manager Tim Hulett said. … “You don’t want to look too far ahead. When we get down to three or four games left in the first half, then we can talk about that.”
“Every day we try to play hard, but we know when Vancouver comes to town or we go to them, it’s a battle,” Trevino said. “We know how it is.”
The Canadians had won seven of their last 10 while Spokane dropped four of its last six at Eugene. But the Indians have been automatic at Avista, winning nine of 10.
Spokane’s league-leading batting average had slipped to .273 and the Indians had been held to two runs in their last 23 innings when Trevino jolted a one-out, three-run homer off Justin Shafer (0-2) to highlight a four-run third for a 4-1 lead.
After Vancouver trimmed the Indians’ advantage to 4-3 in the fifth, Marcus Greene responded with a two-run double just fair down the left-field line in the bottom of the inning. He scored on Isiah Kiner-Falefa’s single to left for a 7-3 edge.
Greene finished 3 for 5 with two doubles, three runs and three RBIs. Kiner-Falefa, Spokane’s new shortstop, also doubled twice and went 3 for 4 with two RBIs.
Kiner-Falefa replaced Alberto Triunfel about a week ago. Hulett said Triunfel was sent home to the Dominican Republic.
“But I don’t know the length of anything,” he said. “That’s above my pay grade.”
Indians starter Richelson Pena improved to 3-1 with five-hit ball over five innings, allowing three earned runs. Jason Hoppe relieved and pitched three perfect innings, striking out five. With his parents in attendance, Johnny Fasola pitched the ninth and sidestepped two quick singles with a double play and strikeout.
The Indians have completed their regular-season schedule against Eugene, ending with a 6-4 record. … The Indians’ official home record is 9-2 although their record at Avista Stadium is 9-1. The Indians were considered the home team during last Monday’s doubleheader opener at Eugene, a makeup for a June 17 rainout in Spokane. … Hulett said he hasn’t “found out the ultimate” about outfielder Jamie Jarmon, who may be leaving the team. Jarmon tweeted Thursday: “At the end of the day, do what makes YOU happy.”