Indians’ hit parade marches on with win over Tri-City
One statistic best demonstrates the Spokane Indians’ offensive prowess: Their leader in runs batted in, Juremi Profar, bats No. 7 in the lineup.
Profar had three RBIs, boosting his team lead to 21, as the Indians set season highs in hits (19) and runs Tuesday with a 16-4 bulldozing of the Tri-City Dust Devils to open a three-game series at Avista Stadium.
“Everytime I’m going to hit, I have men on base,” Profar said after Spokane improved to 18-7 and maintained its three-game lead over Vancouver (15-10) in the Northwest League’s North Division.
Spokane is 8-2 against divisional rivals such as Tri-City (10-15) and 11-2 at Avista Stadium.
League batting leader Seth Spivey, who hits No. 2 in Spokane’s order, went 4 for 5 and increased his average to .380.
“I was talking to our hitting coach (Rick Down) earlier and I said to him, ‘We score so many runs. We can put up 10 runs in a heartbeat,’” Spivey said.
Spokane, which scored six runs in the first inning Sunday against Vancouver, struck for seven in the first against Dust Devils starter Ryan Warner (1-2), who lasted just one-third of an inning. Profar’s two-run single to left field off the glove of third baseman Josh Fuentes gave the Indians a 4-1 lead.
The Indians sent 10 runners to the plate in the first and 11 to the plate during a five-run third.
“It’s called magical bats,” Indians manager Tim Hulett said. “The guys are swinging the bats well. They have a pretty good idea when guys get in scoring position what they’re trying to do. It’s been very impressive.”
“Every day we do the same thing,” Profar said. “Everybody goes to the plate to hit. Since everybody knows they can hit, they’re more comfortable at the plate.”
Spivey, Jose Trevino, Luke Tendler and Marcus Greene, who all hit in front of Profar, dominate the league for batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
Trevino went 3 for 6 with three runs and two RBIs to give him 19 for the season. Tendler finished 2 for 6 with two runs and three RBIs to boost his total to 17. Spokane’s Eduard Pinto, who hit leadoff for most of the season, added three RBIs from the No. 9 spot to join Tendler with 17.
“You can’t really pick out one guy and say he dominated,” Hulett said.
“Everybody got a fair share of it.”
“We’re clicking on all cylinders right now,” Spivey said. … “There is pressure, but it minimizes the pressure when we know we can go out and score runs.”
Andrew Barnett (1-0), a nondrafted free-agent signing this year out of Gardner-Webb (North Carolina) University, picked up his first professional win. He pitched five innings, allowing seven hits and four earned runs.
Relievers Darrell Hunter, Chris Dula and Luis Pollorena kept Tri-City scoreless for the final four innings.
Spokane and Tri-City will play 11 more times this season, including the next five nights. Spokane begins an eight-game road trip Friday in Pasco.