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Dust Devils nip Indians

PASCO – Chris Jensen and two relievers combined on a three-hitter Tuesday night as the Tri-City Dust Devils edged and Spokane Indians 2-1 in Northwest League play at Gesa Stadium.

The series, which may serve as a preview to the first round of the NWL playoffs, ended in Spokane’s favor, 2-1.

Spokane didn’t hurt its chances of advancing to postseason because the Boise Hawks lost at Yakima 7-6 in 10 innings. The wild game saw the ejection of both managers in the bottom of the 10th.

Tri-City has already clinched a playoff berth by winning the East Division’s first half.

T-C also leads the second half, so the second playoff berth in the East would go to the team with the next-best overall record. Spokane (32-34) leads Boise (29-37) by three games with 10 games left.

The Dust Devils scored their winning run Tuesday after Spokane reliever Juan Grullon (5-1) retired the first two batters he faced on flyouts in the seventh inning.

Tyler Massey singled to right field and moved to second on a wild pitch. Jared Simon followed with an RBI single to center.

The Indians went down 1-2-3 in the eighth and were held to Yefry Castillo’s two-out single in the ninth.

Jensen, the starter, allowed two hits and one earned run in 4 2/3 innings.

Winner Craig Bennigson (3-3) followed with 3 1/3 hitless innings, striking out four, and Kenneth Roberts pitched the ninth for his 10th save.

T-C scored in the third on Massey’s single to right. The one-out RBI scored Jayson Langfels, who was hit by a pitch to open the inning.

Spokane tied the game in the fifth. Rougned Odor’s sacrifice fly to center brought home Zachary Cone, who had doubled to right.

Indians starter Nicholas Martinez worked four solid innings, allowing five hits and one earned run.

Spokane continued its struggles on the road, falling to 10-23.

Spokane will close out the regular season by taking on the best of the West. The Indians open a five-game series tonight at Eugene, which won the West Division’s first-half title.

After a day off Monday – the final day off of the regular season – the Indians will host a five-game series against Everett, last year’s NWL champion and the West’s second-half leader.

Spokane won three of five games from Eugene during a late-July series at Avista Stadium.

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