The Spokane Indians won four of six games over Vancouver last week to take a two-game lead over the C’s for third place in the league. On Tuesday, the Indians took aim at the first-place team.
Isaac Collins hit one of three Spokane homers in the first inning and the Indians beat the visiting Everett AquaSox 9-1 in the first of a six-game High-A West series at Avista Stadium on Tuesday.
[BOX SCORE courtesy MILB.com]
Spokane has won five of seven against Everett so far this season. The AquaSox have seen several players promoted recently, including Mariners top prospect Julio Rodriguez.
“That’s a whole different team now,” Indians manager Scott Little said. “Hopefully we can continue to have success. They had a spot starter tonight and we took advantage of it. Hopefully we can do that again some of their other starters.”
Collins, the reigning High-A West player of the week, finished 3 for 5 with three RBIs and two runs.
Indians starter Mitch Kilkenny (5-0) allowed one run on six hits and a walk with five strikeouts over six innings. He threw 82 pitches, 55 for strikes. It was a good bounce-back for the 24-year-old, who didn’t get past the first inning in two of his last three outings.
“He picked around a little bit, but I thought he was really aggressive with his fastball late and I thought he pitched very effectively,” Little said.
The Indians (38-41) didn’t waste any time getting to Everett starter Bernie Martinez. Collins hit Martinez’s second pitch of the game over the batting cage past the right field fence for his fifth home run of the season.
Two batters later, Niko Decolati got a hold of a 1-2 pitch and drove it to right center for his 10th homer of the campaign. The next batter, Colton Welker, smacked a full-count fastball to the short porch in right for his first homer of his rehab assignment with the Indians.
Martinez walked the first two batters of the second and Jack Blomgren singled to load the bases with no outs. Collins got behind 0-2 but fought back to single up the middle and score two runs to make it 5-0.
Ezekiel Tovar blooped a single to center to load the bases again for Decolati (3 for 5), who lined an RBI single to left for a 6-0 lead.
That brought AquaSox manager Louis Boyd out to make a call to the bullpen for Fred Villarreal.
The 23-year-old reliever hit Welker with his third pitch to force in a run then walked Grant Lavigne for another. Aaron Schunk grounded into a double play and another run crossed the plate to make it 9-0 as the home team batted around in the frame.
Everett (51-27) got on the board in the fourth as Daniel Gomez launched his second homer of the season. But that was all the offense the Frogs could muster.
Spokane’s Trent Fennell and Boby Johnson threw perfect innings of relief and Dugan Darnell tossed a scoreless ninth to end it.
The series continues Wednesday at 6:35 p.m.
Around the league
Vancouver 5, Hillsboro 2: Orelvis Martinez hit a two-run home run in his first game in High-A and the Canadians (36-43) topped the visiting Hops (35-43) in Hillsboro, Oregon. Rafael Lantigua went 2 for 3 with an RBI and run for the C’s.
Eugene 11, Tri-City 4: Sean Roby hit a grand slam and the Emeralds (45-34) beat the visiting Dust Devils (31-48). Brett Auerbach went 2 for 4 with a two-run homer and Heath Quinn hit a two-run shot for the Ems.
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