The Spokane Indians’ 10-game losing streak was snapped in emphatic fashion.
Spokane whacked the Hillsboro Hops 12-1 on Monday, the first game of a five-game Northwest League series at Avista Stadium. The Indians were swept in five games by the Hops last week.
“They punched us in the mouth, swept us in five games and that was rough for us,” Indians outfielder Chad Smith said. “It felt like we owed them one.”
The Indians broke open the game with an eight-run fifth inning. Luis Terrero came up to the plate twice and drove in three runs in the Indians’ breakout inning, first with a single to center field to score Seth Spivey and next with a double off the left-field wall to score Spivey again.
Charles Leblanc roped a two-RBI triple to center field and Chad Smith picked up a pair of RBIs on a double to left. Curtis Terry also had an RBI on a single to left field.
Spokane scored two in the third with an RBI groundout from Spivey and an RBI single from Terrero. Terry doubled home Smith and LeBlanc plated Leody Taveras on a single in the fourth, giving the Indians a three-run lead.
Stringing together base hits, extra-base hits at that, was refreshing for Indians manager Tim Hulett.
“That’s the one thing that we’ve not been doing,” Hulett said. “I was a little worried. One inning we had one run and four hits, like ‘Man, we need to get an extra-base hit.’ Then all the sudden the gates broke loose and we got a bunch of them.”
All three of Terrero’s RBI came in the Indians’ fifth inning. He impressed Hulett in the win.
“Terrero has been hot off and on, but tonight was truly the best he’s looked in a long time,” Hulett said. “He was truly a real threat in all his at-bats.”
Hillsboro scored its only run in the third with Josh Anderson’s RBI single.
Anderson was later ejected after arguing that he tagged Leblanc on his triple in the fifth inning. Joey Rose, making his Northwest League debut, replaced him.
Spokane starting pitcher Demarcus Evans gave up one run in four innings, walking five and striking out four.
“As I told him in the dugout, you’re not always going to have your best stuff,” Smith said. “To give up one run with five walks in four innings, that’s big, man. That’s big damage control. That’s what we need to see from pitchers going down the stretch.”
Scott Sebald was credited with the win after pitching three scoreless innings of relief.
Bo Takahashi picked up the loss for Hillsboro, giving up three earned runs in four innings. Dallas Newton struggled after Takahashi’s exit, pitching only two-thirds of an inning and relinquishing seven runs on seven hits.
Leblanc and Terrero each finished with three hits and three RBIs. Terry had two hits and two RBIs and Smith drove in two runs.
Ben DeLuzio was 3 for 4 for Hillsboro.
The Hops clinched the NWL south division title with a 11-8 win over Boise on Sunday. Beating a potential playoff opponent — the Indians could potentially face the Hops if both teams won their divisional series — was a confidence boost, according to Smith.
“To go out there and show we are as good as them, if not better was big for us,” he said. “We’re a baseball team too and we can beat them. That’s a good feeling.”
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