The Eugene Emeralds have been one of the top two teams in the High-A West all season, battling it out with the Everett AquaSox at top of the league standings.
The two teams squared off last week, though, and the Emeralds took it on the chin – losing the last five of the six-game series – to fall 5 1/2 games back of the Frogs.
They took out their frustrations on Tuesday.
Franklin Labour went 3 for 4 with a two-run homer and a two-run single and the visiting Emeralds downed the Spokane Indians 12-4 in the first of a six-game series at Avista Stadium.
Heath Quinn and Brett Auerbach added homers for Eugene (35-25).
Niko Decolati went deep for Spokane (28-33).
Indians starter Helcris Olivarez made it through five innings for the fifth straight start. The lefty allowed four runs, three earned, on four hits, five walks and a hit batter with six strikeouts. He threw 50 of his 94 pitches for strikes.
Olivarez (2-8) got off to a rough start. Ismail Munguia hit a line drive single on the first pitch of the game, went to second on a two-out walk to Sean Roby and scored on a single by Tyler Fitzgerald.
Michael Toglia, back from the MLB Futures Game, cut off the throw and tried to nab Roby at third but his throw went down the line allowing Roby to score.
Decolati halved the deficit in the bottom half with a solo shot, his eighth of the season.
The Emeralds added to their lead in the third on Labour’s two-out, two-run single.
Again, the Indians answered. With one down AJ Lewis reached on an infield single and scored on a double to the left-center gap by Isaac Collins.
Spokane loaded the bases in the fourth on consecutive singles and a walk, then Lewis laced one up the middle for an RBI single to make it 4-3. Collins lined one to center that Munguia made a shoe-top catch on and Hunter Stovall appeared to have scored on the tag, but after conferring the umpires decided he left early.
It became a moot point.
Reliever Jake Sommers came on for the sixth and after an initial strikeout, gave up a single, walk and home run – to No. 9 hitter Quinn – and the deficit grew to 7-3.
Stovall eventually did score. In the sixth he hit a one-out double, stole third and scored on a wild pitch.
Labour added to the Emeralds lead with a three-run homer in the seventh and Auerbach made it 11-4 in the eighth with a two-run shot – both off reliever Boby Johnson.
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