Harvey Hargrove wouldn’t describe himself as an outfielder or a leadoff hitter.
Funny, he looked pretty sharp at both spots Friday.
Hargrove hit the first pitch of the game for a home run, starting the Everett AquaSox toward an 11-5 decision over the Spokane Indians at Seafirst Stadium.
Hargrove, more precisely Harvey Hargrove Jr., played in right field instead of his accustomed spot in the infield because the parent club Seattle Mariners moved Everett outfielders Mike Marchiano and Fernando Espino up to Class A Wisconsin on Friday. Marchiano was leading the Northwest League with 15 home runs, while Espino was hitting .336, third-best in the league.
“I had my first (professional) start in the outfield (Thursday),” said Hargrove, who played some outfield during three years at Sacramento State. “It was a little weird being out there, but it brought back memories.”
Hargrove brought back some memories for the Indians in the second when he hit the first pitch from reliever Scott Key for a two-run double and 5-0 lead. Ramon Valera, the next hitter, doubled in Hargrove.
“I’m not going to go after that first pitch if it’s off-speed,” said Hargrove, who has typically hit in the No. 2 spot. “But if I get fastballs like I did tonight, I’ll swing.”
Spokane (42-29) suffered a major blow to its slim North Division pennant hopes. Boise (46-25) beat Yakima 7-5 to cut its magic number to clinching the title to one. Spokane must finish the season 5-0 and have Boise finish 0-5 to win the North.
Everett (27-44) has little to play for except pride. With Boise and Spokane left, the AquaSox are looking to beat up the big guys.
“This is a lot of fun,” Hargrove said. “We haven’t played for much this year, but we have a lot of guys who know how to play the game.”
Spokane’s Todd Meady (2-3), making his first start since July 15, allowed six hits and four earned runs in 1-1/3 innings. Key slowed down Everett from the second inning to the fifth, allowing Spokane to rally.
The Indians trailed 6-4 in the fifth after Dermal Brown’s one-out, RBI double off Robby Christianson, who made his first start of the year for the AquaSox. Hard-throwing reliever Leslie Brea (2-4) struck out Juan LeBron and Doug Blosser, stranding Rod Metzler at third and Brown at second. Blosser had hit solo homers leading off the second and fourth, giving him 11 for the year.
Brea’s work gave a spark to Everett, which scored four in the sixth on four hits, one stolen base, one wild pitch and one error. Spokane made five errors.
The announced attendance of 4,408 pushed the season total to 173,374, 7,530 shy of a club record for average per game.
Spokane’s Justin Pedersen (5-2, 3.21) makes his final start of the regular season at 7:05 tonight against Joel Pineiro (3-2, 5.86).
Spokane center fielder Goefrey Tomlinson (.335), fourth in league batting, is limited to pinch-hitting for the rest of the year because of sore hamstrings… . The Indians and AquaSox will wear old-style uniforms for tonight’s game. Spokane will dress as the 1902 Smoke Eaters, Everett as the ‘05 Smoke Stackers.
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