The Spokane Indians are chasing a record that has stood for 103 years.
Given the type of hitting and relief pitching the Indians have, don’t bet against them.
The Indians rapped out 15 hits to boost their team batting average to .293 on Monday while improving to 9-1 this Northwest League season with a 12-6 win over Boise at Avista Stadium. Every player in the Indians’ lineup had a hit, and Spokane had a hit in every inning except the eighth.
The 1911 Indians, who began their season 13-1, are the only other Spokane professional baseball team to start 9-1.
“We scored a lot of runs and still got a lot of two-out hits, which I like,” manager Tim Hulett said after the Indians notched their third straight win in the five-game series. “You win games when you do that.
“There was a lot of hitting going on up and down the lineup tonight. The pitching was a little bit rough tonight. We didn’t do a good job of getting ahead. I looked up in the eighth inning and we only had one walk, but it sure seemed like we had about five or six walks.”
Still, Indians relievers Chris Dula, Austin Pettibone and Shane McCain combined for four no-hit innings, striking out three and walking none. Spokane lowered its bullpen earned-run average to 1.48.
“I thought Pettibone did a nice job coming in with his first outing,” Hulett said. “He has a good, live arm, so that was a good highlight for the pitching side. And McCain finished up well, but before that I wasn’t very thrilled with the pitching.”
Indians starter Nick Gardewine (3-0) became the first NWL pitcher to reach three wins but only because Spokane’s offense kept producing for him. Gardewine allowed 10 hits and five earned runs in five innings.
“We kind of went over his pitch limit a little bit, but we had the lead at the time,” Hulett said. “I wanted to give him a chance to get the win and that was really his last hitter when he got the last out (in the fifth).”
Spokane’s hitting highlights were numerous, but Jose Trevino’s three-run homer in the fourth stood out because it gave the Indians an 8-3 lead. Trevino, who hit his first professional homer on Sunday, pounded a long shot to left field against Greyfer Eregua, who had just relieved for Trevor Graham (1-1).
Spokane’s 2-through-5 hitters Alberto Triunfel, Trevino, Luke Tendler and Marcus Greene were a combined 8 for 18 with six runs and five RBIs.
“I like our 3-4 guys,” Hulett said. “They had another good night tonight. Trevino and Tendler really put up some good at-bats in key situations.”
Spokane third baseman Juremi Profar added three RBIs with a run-scoring single in the third for a 5-2 lead and a two-run single against a drawn-in infield in the sixth for a 10-6 advantage.
“Profar doesn’t have a great batting average, but he’s had some key hits for us,” Hulett said. “He puts the ball in play when you need him to put it in play.”
Spokane improved to 7-0 at home and 9-0 in nine-inning games and increased their North Division lead over Vancouver to 3 ½ games.
Boise (4-7) lost its sixth consecutive game.