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Spokane Indians rewind: Maxwell Morales, Luis Asuncion lead comeback attempt

Last night: Maxwell Morales’ two-run home run – a massive shot to straightaway left – helped jump start a rally in the fourth inning.

But the Tri-City Dust Devils jumped on three pitchers in the first two innings for six runs and the Spokane Indians’ comeback fell just short, a 6-5 decision in the second of a three-game Northwest League series at Avista Stadium.

Starter John Matthews, the Texas Rangers’ eighth-round pick in the 2019 MLB Draft out of Kent State, gave up three runs on four hits and recorded four outs. His replacement, Juan Castillo, walked three in one-third of an inning and gave up a run and a hit.

The big play: The Indians had runners at first and second with one down in the sixth, with a run on already on Luis Asuncion’s triple and infield single by Tanner Gardner with Morales at bat. Morales got the count to 2-2 but couldn’t provide any more heroics, grounding into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.

The good: Morales, who was hitting .115 entering the game, went 2 for 4. Asuncion went 3 for 4 with two RBIs and fell a homer shy of the cycle. Joe Corbett pitched two scoreless innings of relief.

The bad: Leadoff hitter Cristian Inoa went 0 for 5 with two strikeouts and is hitting .205. He was the only Indians starter without a hit. Castillo couldn’t throw a strike and raised his ERA this season to 7.56..

The ugly: Matthews didn’t just have a rough start – he gave up hard contact at every turn. He mitigated the damage by not walking anyone, but it wasn’t an encouraging outing. In his last appearance, against Salem-Keizer on July 1, he allowed two runs on two hits and a walk in two-thirds of an inning.

The takeaway: It’s pro ball so moral victories don’t count, but the Indians did mount a threat when it would have been just as easy to roll over, down 6-0 after three innings.

Next game: Tri-City (12-13) at Spokane (14-11), 6:30 p.m.

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