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Sports >  Spokane Indians

Hunter Stovall two-run double in seventh lifts Spokane Indians over Tri-City 4-2

Aug. 31, 2021 Updated Tue., Aug. 31, 2021 at 11:50 p.m.

Hunter Stovall extended a hitting streak and delivered the go-ahead runs in the seventh inning and the Spokane Indians beat the Tri-City Dust Devils 4-2 to open a six-game High-A West series at Avista Stadium on Tuesday.

[BOX SCORE courtesy MILB.com]

The Indians (57-46) moved to 1 1/2 games behind first-place Eugene (59-45), which beat Hillsboro. Tri-City fell to 42-60.

Spokane went 20-6 in August.

“It was a really good win,” Indians manager Scott Little said. “We’ve watched this Tri-City team load up on pitching, and we knew coming in that they’d pitched really well, dominated the pitching in their last series and they’ve become a much better team.”

“It’s 100 percent fact, to us, that when we step on that field we’re going to win a baseball game,” Stovall said. “There’s been a lot of talk the past few weeks in the dugout and the locker room to keep the positivity up and keep the energy up and it’s 100 percent helped with our confidence.”

Trailing 2-1 with one down in the seventh, Daniel Cope walked and advanced to second on a single by Jack Blomgren. Isaac Collins laced a single center to score Cope and put runners on the corners, then Stovall smacked a two-run double off reliever Ivan Armstrong  to make it 4-2.

“We’ve seen him before,” Stovall said. “We knew he had some sink on his fastball. It kind of got in on me but it ended up working out.”

Stovall went 2 for 4 with two runs batted in, raising his average to .313. The 24-year-old infielder has hit safely in 19 consecutive games – matching Everett’s Connor Hoover for longest in the league this year and tying recently retired Chris Davis and four others for the sixth-longest hitting streak in Indians history.

“He just gives you good at-bats,” Little said. “He’s a baller, he’s a little grinder and, you know, he’s kind of representative of the team we want to be.”

Stovall said there’s no secret for his recent success.

“Just sticking with my approach, staying in the middle of the field, seeing the ball and trying not to chase,” he said.

Indians starter Peter Lambert, on rehab assignment, allowed one run on two hits and two walks. Chris McMahon (9-3) relieved and went the rest of the way, giving up one run on five hits with no walks with seven strikeouts over six innings.

Grant Lavigne hit the first pitch of the second inning over the fence in right-center for his second homer since his promotion to High-A to give the Indians an early lead.

Tri-City pushed a runs across against Lambert in the third. McMahon allowed four straight singles for a run in the fourth, but retired the next 10 in row until Jeremy Arocho’s single in the seventh. McMahon picked off Arocho and got out of the inning unscathed.

“They put some good swings on it,” McMahon said of the four straight hits. “Back my mind I knew I still felt like my stuff was good and I bounced back to strike two out.”

“He stepped up,” Little said of McMahon. “He got a couple big strikeouts and a flyout. It was a great, great job to minimize what could have been a disastrous inning.”

Around the league

Eugene 6, Hillsboro 5: Jairo Pomares hit two home runs, including a two-run shot in the eighth, and the visiting Emeralds (58-45) came from behind to top the Hops (45-56). Armani Smith knocked in a pair for Eugene. 

Vancouver 9, Everett 8: Tanner Morris and Orelvis Martinez homered and the visiting Canadians (48-55) held off the AquaSox (58-45). Everett fell 1/2 game behind first-place Eugene. Jose Caballero went 2 for 2 with two walks and four stolen bases for the AquaSox.

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