The power of the long ball has kept Eugene in contention in the High-A West standings this season. The Emeralds showcased some of that muscle Saturday night at Avista Stadium.
Eugene clubbed three home runs in a six-run third inning to build an early lead, and the Emeralds overcame their own miscues to hang on for a 10-9 victory over the Spokane Indians in the fifth of a six-game High-A series.
The Indians (30-35) staged a ninth-inning rally and pulled within a run when Aaron Schunk scored on a wild pitch with two outs. Emeralds reliever Austin Reich, who pitched the final three innings, struck out Daniel Montano for the final out to strand runners on second and third.
After the save had been secured, Reich got in an argument with home plate umpire Pete Talkington and was ejected. Emeralds reliever Travis Perry was ejected in the seventh and manager Dennis Pelfrey was tossed in the ninth arguing a play on the bases.
The teams were tied 4-4 through two innings, but Eugene’s Richard Genoves hit a two-run homer off Indians starter Breiling Eusebio. Reliever Jared Biddy entered, but Brett Auerbach delivered a three-run homer to left field and Tyler Fitzgerald followed in the next at-bat with a solo shot for a 10-4 margin.
Fitzgerald finished 3 for 5 with two RBIs, and Auerbach was 2 for 5 with four RBIs for Eugene (37-27), which rapped out 12 hits.
Hunter Stovall, who was 3 for 4 with two RBIs, hit his third homer of the season in the fifth, a two-run shot that pulled the Indians within 10-7. Michael Toglia scored on a balk in the seventh for Spokane to close within 10-8.
The teams conclude the series Sunday at 5 p.m.
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