EVERETT – The Spokane Indians opened the second half of the Northwest League season the same way they did the first – with a victory.
The Indians received a stellar effort from their bullpen and rallied for a 3-2 victory over the Everett AquaSox on Saturday to put an end to a two-game losing streak.
Justin Gutsie (2-0) threw a pair of shutout innings to earn the victory for Spokane, which improved its record to 29-10.
After Everett jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning against Spokane starter Carlos Pimentel, the Indians battled back.
Matthew West walked to lead off the top of the fifth and Zach Zaneski followed with a single. Edward Koncel advanced the runners a base with a sacrifice bunt and David Paisano singled to drive in West. Jason Ogata walked to load the bases and that was it for Everett starter Aaron Brown. Marquis Pettis (1-1) replaced Brown and retired Jared Bolden on a fly ball to left field. But Joey Butler worked Pettis for a walk to force in Zaneski and knot the score.
Spokane scored what proved to be the winning run in their half of the sixth inning.
Michael Bianucci opened with a double to center. With one out Bianucci stole third base and scored when Everett catcher Travis Howell’s throw went awry.
Spokane increased its lead to five games over second-place Boise in the East Division. The Hawks lost 3-1 to Salem-Keizer.