Hawks send Indians to first home loss
Tim Hulett surpassed Harry Ostediek on the same night that the Boise Hawks ensured that Hulett wouldn’t surpass Ostediek.
Hulett managed his franchise-record 543rd game with the Spokane Indians, passing the mark of Ostediek (1910-13), but the Hawks were the team to celebrate after an 8-4 triumph at Avista Stadium on Wednesday.
Ostediek’s 1911 Indians opened the season 13-1, a record that will stand because the Indians’ torrid start was halted at 10-1 when Boise captured the final game of the five-game Northwest League series.
Spokane (10-2) entered the evening 8-0 at home and 10-0 in nine-inning games. Boise (5-8) snapped a seven-game losing streak, its longest since July 2010.
“I’d rather get a win, so it wasn’t a good night for us at all,” Hulett said. … “(But) I think it’s great that the (Texas) Rangers and the Spokane Indians have given me that opportunity to come here and manage that many games.”
Spokane maintained its 3 ½-game lead over Vancouver in the North Division.
The Indians begin a nine-game road trip tonight with the first of three games at Everett. They’ll play six games at Eugene – one more than originally scheduled because of a June 17 rainout in Spokane – before returning home July 4 to meet Vancouver.
Boise left-hander Tyler Ihrig (1-0) baffled the Indians for seven innings with his off-speed pitches. Ihrig allowed five hits while striking out five and walking none. In 18 innings with the Hawks, Ihrig has 17 strikeouts and one walk.
“He was the first guy we faced who was a soft-tossing lefty,” Hulett said. “He uses his off-speed pitches well and we didn’t make the adjustments.”
Ihrig attended Monroe (Washington) High School and pitched for two years at Marin (California) Community College. His mother, Tana, made the drive from north of Seattle to see his gem.
“I don’t throw the hardest, but I try to inside/outside, mix it up, throw all three pitches for a strike,” Ihrig said. “The change-up wasn’t where it usually is tonight, but the curveball made up for it.”
The Indians took a 3-1 lead over Ihrig in the third, assisted by a foiled pickoff of Indians first baseman Fernando Vivili between second and third bases. Boise was ruled to have missed the tag, allowing Vivili to scamper to third.
“I couldn’t tell (on the missed tag) because I was behind the play, so the umpire’s standing right there and he has the best view,” Hulett said.
Spokane followed with Saquan Johnson’s RBI double over the head of center fielder Rashad Crawford, Eduard Pinto’s league-leading 13th RBI on a single to right, and Alberto Triunfel’s sacrifice fly to left.
“I was a little upset, and I cracked a little bit and ended up giving up a few runs, but after that I bounced back,” Ihrig said. “My team battled back and it was an impressive job, one through nine.”
Boise scored three in the fourth to retake control, on Kevin Brown’s two-run homer to right and Charlie White’s go-ahead, RBI double to left. Triunfel’s fielding error at shortstop on a possible double-play ball extended the inning for White’s double.
The Indians made some noise in the ninth with Juremi Profar’s one-out RBI single to center and a long fly to right by Charles Moorman that just curved foul with two runners on. Moorman then grounded into a double play.