There exist anomalies in the game of baseball such as Monday night, when the Spokane Indians made more than enough mistakes to lose, but still pulled out a win.
Then there was Tuesday night, when the Indians (4-4) paid through the nose for every mishap, as the Everett AquaSox blew out Spokane 9-3 in front of 3,614 at Avista Stadium on a chilly, drizzly night.
Everett (4-4) banged out 12 hits, scored three unearned runs and two runs on wild pitches to snap a three-game Indians winning streak.
They wasted no time, picking up two runs in the first inning on Daniel Santin’s two-run homer off Spokane starter Juan Carlos Garcia (0-1).
Garcia, making his third professional pitching appearance after originally coming up as an outfielder in the Florida organization, gave up two more runs in the third. One scored on a wild pitch, and another came unearned as Brian Schweiger reached on shortstop Julio Santana’s error and later scored on a single by Bryan Sabatella.
“The first time in Eugene, (Garcia) was really good for three innings,” Spokane manager Greg Riddoch said of Garcia’s first professional start June 23, when he allowed six earned runs in 4 1/3 innings. “He was handcuffing them, changing speeds and then he started elevating like he did tonight, and they start whacking them. It’s an inexperience thing.”
Two more unearned runs scored off reliever Jarrad Burcie in the top of the fifth when Santin’s RBI single to right field got past John Mayberry Jr., clearing the bases for a 7-0 AquaSox lead.
There was a bright spot in the Spokane loss, coming in the bottom of the sixth when Steve Murphy and Mayberry Jr., batting 3-4 in the Indians order but combining to hit .222 with two homers and six RBIs in the first seven games, hit back-to-back homers off AquaSox reliever Eric Carter (2-0).
Murphy continued to show good power to the opposite field from the left side, driving a 3-2 pitch over the wall in deep left-center field. Mayberry Jr. followed with his second dinger of the year, a line shot over the left-field fence, pulling the Indians within five at 8-3.
“They’re capable of that,” Spokane manager Greg Riddoch said. “Mayberry didn’t play for a month after college and (hitting coach Mark Whiten) has been working with him on getting the ball more out front. He doesn’t have to generate a real hard swing or anything else. He just has to meet it because of the muscle mass.”
Rafael Soriano of the Seattle Mariners dazzled the Indians in his second rehab start with the AquaSox, striking out four with one walk, allowing no hits. Soriano appeared in 40 games with Seattle in 2003, with a microscopic 1.53 earned run average in 53 relief innings before undergoing Tommy John surgery midway through last season.
Soriano hit 93 mph on the scoreboard radar gun, using his fastball to strike out three Indians looking and one swinging in a 27-pitch outing. He’s scheduled to make one more start with the AquaSox on Friday against Vancouver.
The Indians’ starting second basemen (Julio Santana, Johnny Washington and Antonio Pena) have combined for one hit in 26 at-bats (.038) with 16 strikeouts. Santana started in the place of everyday shortstop German Duran, who pulled a hamstring Monday night going from first to third on Steve Murphy’s first-inning double, and is out indefinitely. … Tonight’s probables: Everett, RHP Nick Allen (0-0, 1.50) vs. Spokane, LHP Jesse Hall (first appearance).
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