The Spokane Indians this week have played a bunch of high-scoring, back-and-forth games this week with the Vancouver Canadians, with whom they are currently contending for third place in the High-A West.
Friday night, the pattern continued – in a big way.
Michael Toglia and Daniel Cope hit grand slams and the Indians beat the visiting Canadians 15-11 in the fourth of the six-game series.
Spokane (36-40) took a two-game lead over the C’s for third place (34-42). The teams combined for 33 hits.
[BOX SCORE courtesy MILB.com]
Toglia added a solo shot to increase his league lead to 17. Cade Harris and Isaac Collins also homered. Collins finished 4 for 5 while Niko Decolati went 5 for 5.
“It’s a lot of fun,” Toglia said of the offensive fireworks. “We’re passing the baton really well, get the next hitter up. Everybody’s doing damage, so it’s fun seeing all your teammates rake like that.”
Vancouver jumped on Indians starter Helcris Olivarez from the first pitch, as the first five batters reached safely – the first out of the inning came on an RBI sacrifice fly that made it 4-0.
The Indians came right back, loading the bases with the first three batters against C’s starter Brain Rapp. Toglia then clubbed a 1-2 pitch to right center to even it up.
“We were talking about the other night, that it would be nice if we could jump out early, get on top with an early lead,” Toglia said.
Olivarez didn’t fare better in the second. The C’s scored five more runs, including a three-run homer by Davis Schneider, his fourth of the campaign.
Colton Welker, on rehab assignment with the Indians from Triple-A Albuquerque, ripped an RBI double in the bottom half to make it 9-5.
Olivarez was lifted with two on and two down in the third. He allowed nine runs on eight hits and five walks.
Harris drew Spokane within one with a three-run homer in the bottom of the third, his sixth of the season, but Vancouver’s Ronny Brito made it 11-8 with a two-run shot in the fourth.
The Indians picked up a run in the fifth on a bases-loaded walk by Daniel Montano, but Welker and Toglia struck out to quash a potential rally.
Cope’s big blast came the next inning to give the Indians the lead at 13-11, and Collins’ solo shot made it a three-run lead.
Toglia led off the seventh with his second blast of the game.
“We’ve been playing well,” Toglia said. “Hopefully we can give up a few less runs so we don’t have to put up 15 every night, but if that’s what it takes, we’re gonna do it.”
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