Heath Quinn is not a typical No. 9 hitter in the High-A West. He’s not performing like it either.
The 26-year old former third-round pick in the 2016 draft went 3 for 4 with two home runs, including a grand slam, and six RBIs and the Eugene Emeralds pounded the Spokane Indians for the second night in a row, topping the home team 12-6 at Avista Stadium on Wednesday.
Quinn is 5 for 7 with three homers and nine RBIs in the first two games of the series.
The Emeralds (36-25) scored five in the sixth and four in the eighth to blow the game open.
The Indians (28-34) led 5-1 and 6-3 before the barn doors flew open.
Indians starter Chris McMahon, the league-leader in wins and innings pitched, was going for a fifth-straight victory. In his last four starts, McMahon was 4-0 with a 2.57 ERA and 22 strikeouts. Previously this season he had given up three runs in 11 innings in two starts against Eugene.
On Wednesday, the righty gave up five earned runs – though two scored after he had departed – on five hits and two walks with seven strikeouts. He allowed three of the Emeralds four homers.
Spokane got home runs from Kyle Datres, his sixth, and Daniel Cope, who hit his first two of the season.
The Indians got on the board first. With one down, Aaron Schunk hit a soft liner to left and Niko Decolati doubled to right. Michael Toglia broke his bat on a slow roller to second but it was enough for Schunk to scamper home.
The lead didn’t last. Tyler Fitzgerald lined McMahon’s first pitch of the second inning over the left field fence, his team-leading eighth homer, to tie it up.
Spokane broke the tie in the third. Isaac Collins singled with one out, went to second on a throwing error by the pitcher, and a walk to Decolati loaded the bases. Toglia then laced one to the right-field corner that plated two to make it 3-1.
Datres added to the lead in the fourth with his sixth homer of the season, a no-doubt shot to left center. The next batter, Cope, lined one to right that stayed just fair for his first of the season.
Christopher Navarro and Collins ripped back-to-back singles to put runners at the corners and the Indians loaded the bases with one out, but couldn’t push any more across.
The four-run lead didn’t last. Leading off the fifth, Eugene’s Franklin Labour homered for the second night in a row. This season, the right fielder is 9 for 24 (.375) with four homers and nine RBIs at Avista Stadium. In 2019 with Salem-Keizer, he hit five homers in his lone three-game series in Spokane.
Two batters later, Quinn homered for the second consecutive game as well to draw Eugene within two at 5-3.
Cope homered again in the bottom of the fifth to restore a three-run game, bouncing a high drive off the top of the fence and over in left center.
The good times didn’t last.
McMahon allowed a walk and single to start the sixth and was lifted by Indians manager Scott Little. Fineas Del Bonta-Smith got the next two batters, but a wild pitch allowed a run, then he loaded the bases on a pair of walks.
That brought up Quinn, and he drove one off the top of the caboose in right center for a grand slam. Just like that, the Indians trailed 8-6.
Eugene scored four more in the eighth off Jared Biddy to close out the scoring.
Indians outfielder Brenton Doyle went 0 for 5, halting a 10-game hitting streak.
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