KEIZER, Ore. – The Spokane Indians have the inside track to the Northwest League’s North Division second-half title.
Catcher Matt Whatley finished 4 for 5 with five runs batted in Wednesday as the Indians completed a five-game sweep of the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes with a 10-5 victory at Volcanoes Stadium.
With Tri-City losing to Hillsboro 2-0, the Indians (21-14 second half) seized a one-game lead over the Dust Devils (20-15) with three games left in the regular season.
Spokane finishes at home against Everett, starting Friday, while T-C hosts North Division first-half champion Vancouver (19-16). Spokane is 5-4 against Everett this season.
The Indians took a 7-4 lead with a five-run third inning. Whatley singled home the first run and scored on Curtis Terry’s two-run double to center field. Melvin Novoa followed with his fourth home run, a two-run shot to left.
Whatley’s three-run homer to right in the sixth completed the scoring.
Josh Advocate (1-2), the Indians’ first reliever, took the win, allowing two hits and one earned run in two innings. Ismel Lopez, Alex Speas, Noah Bremer and Alex Eubanks closed out the game with a combined 5 1/3 hitless innings, striking out eight.
Spokane, which has won eight of its last 11 games, finished 8-2 against the Volcanoes this season.