YAKIMA – Shoddy fielding by the Yakima Bears enabled the Spokane Indians to end a three-game losing streak and stay within striking distance of the Tri-City Dust Devils in the Northwest League’s East Division.
K.C. Herren finished 3 for 4 with an RBI and Douglas Mathis threw six strong innings as the Indians took advantage of three Bears errors en route to a 3-1 victory Wednesday in Yakima. With Tri-City beating Boise 8-5, Spokane still trails the Dust Devils by two games. Tri-City comes to Spokane Friday for an all-important three-game series.
Mathis (4-7) went six innings, allowing five hits and one run while striking out six and walking none.
Jon Wilson struck out the side in the ninth inning, despite allowing a pair of singles, to earn his 10th save of the season.
Spokane started the scoring in the first. Terry Blunt singled to lead off the game and Herren singled to right field. An error by right fielder Leyson Septimo allowed Blunt to score all the way from first.
Yakima tied the game in the bottom of the fifth. Septimo singled to left with one out and Juan Olivares immediately followed with a triple to drive in Yakima’s only run of the game.
The Indians went ahead in the seventh. Julio Santana walked to start the inning. David Peterson attempted to sacrifice Santana to second, but a throwing error by pitcher Craig Pfautz allowed Peterson to make first safely. Blunt singled to load the bases with no one out.
Herren followed with a single to right that scored Santana, but Peterson was thrown out at home by Septimo. Blunt moved up to third on the throw, but Herren was thrown out at second for an unconventional double play. With two outs and Blunt on third, Taylor Teagarden walked and Joseph Kemp reached on an infield single that scored Blunt and gave the Indians an insurance run.
The win was tempered with some bad news. NWL Most Valuable Player Steve Murphy of Spokane, who has been out the last few games with a jammed pinkie, will miss the rest of the season when the team found out the injury was a broken right hand. Murphy injured the hand last Friday.
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