With two starting pitchers on the injured list and another promoted on Monday to Double-A Hartford, the Spokane Indians were in a bit of a bind for Thursday’s game against league-leading Eugene.
Manager Scott Little turned to long reliever Anderson Pilar to make a spot start, his first of the season. Though he ran out of gas in the fourth, it was an admirable effort in a difficult situation.
Unfortunately, things got worse after Pilar left as Eugene hit a pair of home runs and the visiting Emeralds beat the Indians 8-2 in the third game of a six-game High-A Northwest League series at Avista Stadium.
The fourth-place Indians (15-17) fell 51/2 games behind first-place Eugene (21-12) in the NWL second half.
Pilar set a season high in innings (32/3) and pitches (74). He allowed two runs on just one hit and two walks with a hit batter and three strikeouts. The spot start was necessary due to Mike Ruff’s promotion and Evan Shawver and Sam Weatherly still on the injured list.
After Pilar retired the Emeralds in order in the first, the Indians batters staked him to a lead in the bottom half. Bladimir Restituyo singled, then went to second and third on wild pitches. Julio Carreras hit an infield chopper and beat it out, allowing Restituyo to carry home the game’s first run.
Pilar recorded nine straight outs before walking the leadoff hitter in the fourth. After a strikeout, Casey Schmitt hit a routine grounder to third that eluded Mateo Gil and went for a single, then Jairo Pomares hit a liner to right to tie the game.
Patrick Bailey walked to load the bases before Pilar hit Jimmy Glowenke to force in a run. At that point, Indians manager Scott Little came out with the hook. Robinson Hernandez entered and got Max Wright to fly out to left to end the rally.
Colin Simpson tied it in the bottom half, with his team-leading 13th home run of the season, a solo shot to right-center.
Hernandez walked the first two batters of the sixth, and Little went to recently promoted Juan Mejia, but the 22-year-old righty was taken deep by Glowenke for a three-run homer and Eugene led 5-2.
Mejia’s misfortunes continued in the seventh. He walked leadoff batter Simon Whiteman before Vaun Brown homered over the left center wall to make it 7-2.
The series continues Friday at 7:05 p.m.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the sports newsletter
Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.