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Indians drop fourth consecutive game

HILLSBORO, Ore. – The Northwest League’s top-hitting team is struggling to score runs.

Markus Solbach (2-0) and two relievers combined on a seven-hitter Thursday as the Hillsboro Hops handed the Spokane Indians their fourth consecutive loss during a 4-2 Northwest League game at Ron Tonkin Field.

The Indians entered the evening with the league’s top team batting average at .276, but they’ve been held to three or fewer runs in six of their last seven games.

Solbach allowed six hits and one earned run in seven innings, striking out three and walking none. Mason McCullough walked two in the eighth but struck out the side, and Zac Curtis also fanned the side in the ninth to earn his 13th save.

Hillsboro (40-25, 18-9 second half) won the South Division first-half title and leads Salem-Keizer (17-10) by one game in the second half. The Hops are 6-1 against North Division first-half champion Spokane (35-30, 10-17), including four consecutive wins.

Spokane led briefly when Seth Spivey singled with two outs in the first inning and scored on Jose Trevino’s club-best 20th double. Trevino picked up his 47th RBI to tie teammate Luke Tendler for third in the league.

But the Hops took the lead for good with a two-run second against Derek Thompson (4-6). Jake Mayers tripled home Jordan Parr and scored on Justin Gonzalez’s two-out double.

The Indians have dropped seven of their last nine games and are 13-22 since July 14.

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