Following two nights of elegant pitching, the Spokane Indians found themselves at the opposite end of the spectrum Saturday night, dropping a 14-4 Northwest League baseball game to Eugene.
Spokane had opened the five-game series with 13-0 and 4-1 victories.
Saturday’s defeat, which included 16 Eugene hits, was more reminiscent of Southern Oregon’s lusty 10-7 triumph that concluded Spokane’s last homestand on Tuesday night.
This time around, the Indians lost more than a game. North Division leader Boise defeated Salem-Keizer and stretched its advantage over Spokane, which led most of the first month, to 3-1/2 games.
Spokane, which has played just .500 ball (11-11) since its 13-3 start, and Eugene play the fourth game of the series tonight.
Eugene scored in each of the first four innings. The Emeralds took the lead for good by scoring twice in the second for a 3-2 edge.
Four unearned runs made it 7-2 in the third. John Arnold’s three-run homer made it 10-3 in the fourth.
Arnold finished with two hits and four runs batted in. He had singled in a run in the second inning, and his grounder to first base resulted in two of the third-inning runs when Dave Willis’ throw to home plate glanced off catcher Jeremy Hill’s glove.
Spokane starter Dan Reichert was the principal victim. First-round choice of the parent Kansas City Royals in the June draft, Reichert lost his first pro decision after surrendering 10 hits and seven runs in 2-2/3 innings.
Al Castro and Pooh Hines each had three hits for Eugene. Eight Ems hit safely against four Spokane pitchers, none of whom was effective.
Spokane took two brief leads.
Doug Blosser singled home Goef Tomlinson to give the Indians a 1-0 advantage in the first inning. Hill doubled home Willis for a 2-1 lead in the second.
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