PASCO – The Tri-City Dust Devils scored early and often and breezed to a 9-2 victory over the Spokane Indians in Northwest League play on Saturday night.
The loss dropped the second-place Indians (21-27) eight games behind the front-running Dust Devils (29-19) in the East Division standings.
Tri-City pummeled Indians starter Braden Tullis (2-1), who entered the game with a 1.89 earned run average and a 2-0 record. Tullis lasted just three-plus innings and allowed nine earned runs on 10 hits and a walk. He left the mound with a 3.73 ERA.
Tri-City took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first on back-to-back doubles by Tim Wheeler and Jeremiah Sammy to open the inning and an RBI groundout by Bo Bowman.
The Dust Devils added a run in the second on Joey Wong’s RBI single and scored in the third on Kevin Clark’s run-scoring single.
Tri-City turned a 4-0 lead into a rout by pushing across five runs in the fourth inning. Dallas Tarleton, Wong, Wheeler, Sammy and Ben Paulsen delivered five straight singles off Tullis with Sammy driving in one and Paulsen plating two. Joseph Ortiz replaced Tullis and fanned Bowman for the first out of the inning. Kent Matthes followed with an RBI double and Clark singled home the fifth run before Ortiz induced a double-play grounder Joseph Sanders.
Spokane finally scored off Tri-City starter Josh Hungerman in the fifth. Tommy Mendonca doubled to lead off the inning and Hungerman’s night ended after he issued back-to-back walks to Aja Barto and Jared Prince and then struck out Denny Duron. Bradley McAtee (1-3) took over and retired Kyle Rhoad on an RBI groundout and Daniel Lima on a flyout.
The Indians also added a run in the seventh when Prince drew a leadoff walk and later scored on a groundout by Lima.
The teams square off tonight in the middle game of the three-game series.
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