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Spokane Indians take series opener against Eugene Emeralds

EUGENE – Alexander Ovalles and Jake Hoover drove in two runs apiece and the Spokane Indians outlasted the Eugene Emeralds 9-5 in the first game of a three-game Northwest League series at PK Park on Monday.

David Garcia went 3 for 5 with an RBI and two runs.

Hoover delivered a two-out RBI single in the second inning and Garcia added a two-out RBI double in the third for a 2-0 lead, while Indians starter Josh Javier cruised through the first two innings.

Things unraveled for Javier in the third. Luis Diaz reached on an infield single and moved over to third on two wild pitches. Fernando Kelli walked, then Pedro Martinez delivered an RBI single. Darius Hill hit a comebacker and Javier tried to get the lead runner at third but threw it down the line. Kelli scored and Martinez came around on a throwing error by Ovalles in left field.

Jake Slaughter lofted a fly to right center that fell between Kellen Strahm in center and Luis Asuncion in right that either could have caught and Hill scored to make it 4-2. Javier then walked Jake Washer, ending his evening.

Juan Mejia entered and got a groundout, a tag play at the plate and a flyout to stop the bleeding.

The Indians (4-3 second half) loaded the bases with no outs in the fourth. With one down, Eugene native Kellen Strahm hit a grounder to short and the Emeralds (3-4) got the force at second, but the relay was wild and two runners came across to tie it.

Strahm advanced to third on an errant pickoff and Blaine Crim (3 for 4) smacked a double to score Strahm to make it 5-4.

The Indians added insurance in the eighth on a two-run double by Ovalles, who later scored on a sacrifice fly by Hoover. Jonah McReynolds had an RBI single in the ninth.

Mejia gave the Indians three scoreless innings of one-hit relief. Nic Laio retired nine of the 10 batters faced with five strikeouts.

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