PASCO – The Spokane Indians wrapped up the North Division second-half title on Sunday, using a five-run third inning to jump start a 10-3 victory over the Tri-City Dust Devils in Northwest League baseball action.
The Indians (44-30 overall, 22-14 in the second half), who also were the first-half champions, will take on the second-place Dust Devils in the first round of the NWL playoffs following Monday’s final game of the regular season against Tri-City.
Spokane took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning when Heriberto Hernandez singled, stole his first base of the season, and scored on a two-out wild pitch by Tri-City starter Gabriel Morales.
The Indians took control of the game in the top of the third. Alexander Ovalles and Davis Wendzel drew back-to-back walks with one out and promptly pulled off a double steal. Hernandez followed with a RBI single to make it 2-0, ending the day for Morales. Hernandez stole his second base and Wendzel came in to score on a throwing error by Tri-City catcher Logan Driscoll. Scott Kapers, Jonah McReynolds and Starling Joseph all added run-scoring singles for a 6-0 lead.
The Indians put the game out of reach with a three-run fifth. McReynolds led off with a single. Obie Ricumstrict singled with one out and Joseph drove in McReynolds with a single to left field. Osleivis Basabe singled in a run and Ovalles made it 9-0 with an RBI groundout.
Ovalles’ RBI double in the seventh capped the scoring for Spokane.
Indians starter Leury Tejada was breezing along before injuring his hand and leaving the game after two innings of work. Luis Rosario (5-1) took over for Tejada and pitched three shutout innings to earn the victory.
Werner Leal finished on the mound for Spokane. He allowed two earned runs in an inning of work but still sports a 0.97 earned-run average.
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