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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Yakima lights up struggling Indians

Jaime Cárdenas Staff writer

It could not have been a worse night for the Spokane Indians.

First, some of the lights at their stadium (named after the power supply company) didn’t work.

Then Steve Murphy’s 12-game hitting streak was snapped when he popped out to center field in the ninth inning.

Finally, the Indians lost their fifth consecutive game and their second straight to Yakima in a 9-6 Northwest League setback Thursday night at Avista Stadium.

“It’s one of those days,” said Indians third baseman Joey Hooft. “We just need to have things go our way.”

Lately, things have not gone the Indians’ way.

After the Indians took a 4-2 lead in the third, the Bears recaptured the lead and were up 5-4 at the end of the fifth. During the fifth, team officials noticed that a bank of lights wasn’t working behind the left-field bleachers.

When the inning ended, Indians officials decided to turn off all the stadium lights in hopes that they would all work after the restart.

It didn’t happen.

When play resumed 14 minutes later, the lights in left remained off. The Indians soon committed two of their four errors in a three-run sixth that allowed the visiting Bears to take an 8-4 lead, with thoughts of a sweep when the three-game series ends tonight.

“All it takes is one inning to self-destruct,” said Spokane manager Greg Riddoch.

That inning was the sixth. Yakima’s Jaen Centeno, who tied the game at 4 in the third with a two-run home run, initiated the rally with a leadoff double. Leyson Septimo, the next batter, moved Centeno to third with a bunt down the first-base line. On the play, Indians reliever Jarrad Burcie mishandled the ball and Septimo reached first.

Back-to-back errors by third baseman Hooft scored Centeno and Septimo. Manny Del Campo later scored on Derek Bruce’s single for an 8-4 lead.

“Obviously, momentum is slightly a big thing in baseball,” said Indians catcher Ben Crabtree. “We lost rhythm.”

Burcie, who waited 15 minutes to throw his first pitch after relieving starter Jesse Hall, gave up three hits and one earned run.

A two-out homer in the eighth by Mike Biguenet made it 9-4.

In the ninth, with two runners on and one out, Murphy represented the potential game-tying run at the plate. But Murphy’s fly to center was caught by Septimo at the warning track to snap the hitting streak.

“With the grind, the only thing you have to look forward to is tomorrow,” said Hooft, who had three errors on the night. “Can’t worry about what already happen.”


Ben Crabtree returned to the Spokane lineup after missing six games with a bruised bone in his right hand. … After the game, the parent club Texas Rangers assigned Wally Backman Jr. and Justin Abbot to the Arizona rookie league. The Rangers also promoted pitcher Warren Rosebrock and infielder Matt Hawk from Arizona to Spokane.

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