It’s not how a team starts a game, it’s how it finishes it that counts.
And the Spokane Indians finished Sunday’s 4-3 come-from-behind win by holding the Vancouver Canadians scoreless on four hits after giving up three runs on six hits in the first inning.
Catcher Taylor Teagarden, in his first full game behind the plate since joining the team, tied the game in the sixth inning with his first home run at Avista Stadium and Steve Murphy drove in Joe Kemp for the go-ahead run in the seventh as the Indians (24-29) completed their 16th come-from-behind victory of the season before a crowd of 3,781.
Tanner McElroy began the game by giving up three runs on six hits with one out. With the bases loaded, it looked as if McElroy’s first start would be his last. But McElroy got out of the jam when John Mayberry Jr. threw out Vancouver’s Steve Kleen at home to end the inning.
Kleen was attempting to score from third after Shawn Callahan flied out to Mayberry in right field.
“When he threw him out I felt like I had a new life,” said McElroy who retired the next eight batters he faced.
McElroy gave up one hit and held the Canadians scoreless in his next three innings. He finished with four strikeouts in his four-inning stint.
“After that first inning he was good,” said Indians manager Gregg Riddoch. “Settled down and did what he had been doing all year.”
Coming into the game, McElroy had not given up a run in 8 2/3 innings pitched at Avista.
Relievers Nate Fogel, Jesse Hall and Jon Wilson held the Canadians (35-18) to three hits over the final five innings. Fogel struck out five of the eight batters he faced. Hall got his first win of the season and Wilson got his seventh save.
“You have to give a lot of credit to the relievers,” said Kemp, who went 2 for 3 with a triple and two runs scored. “If they can’t keep us close, we can’t come back.”
The win allowed the Indians to take a two-game lead in the Northwest League East Division as Boise, Tri-City and Yakima all suffered defeats. All three teams are tied for second place.
The Indians scratched schedule starter Dave Smith, who left his last game with a blister on his throwing hand, as a precaution. … Vancouver’s Trey Shields, the scheduled starter, was unable pitch in relief of starter Jeff Gray to start the second inning because he was left off the list of eligible Canadians pitchers for the game.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the sports newsletter
Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.