The Spokane Indians’ week started with a lopsided loss to the Tri-City Dust Devils during a day game. On Sunday, they returned the favor.
Eddy Diaz and Robby Martin, Jr. led the hit parade with four hits apiece, three others hit home runs and the Indians beat the Dust Devils 14-4 to earn a split of the six-game High-A Northwest League series at Avista Stadium.
The Indians (24-23) remain 5 1/2 games behind Eugene in the NWL second half and one game behind Vancouver, pending a late result, in the overall season-record playoff tiebreaker.
“We swung the bats really well today,” Indians manage Scott Little said. “We took advantage of some pitches up and out over the plate – kinda like those first couple of games they did against us.
“It was a good ‘W’ on a Sunday with a bunch of guys that haven’t played exactly every day.”
Shortstop Julio Carreras received his first day off all season. Regular starters Bladimir Restituyo and Warming Bernabel joined him on the bench.
“We put the bat on the ball a lot,” Colin Simpson said. “Tip of the cap to our hitters sticking with it and grinding through the week and keep scoring runs and ended up taking three from them.”
Spokane accumulated 23 hits on the day, including nine for extra bases. There were plenty of accolades to go around.
Hunter Goodman homered for the fifth game in a row and added an RBI double, Simpson hit a three-run homer and an RBI triple, Trevor Boone went 3 for 4 with a homer and three runs while Mateo Gil had three hits and scored twice.
“I’m seeing it well, getting good pitches to hit, putting good swings on it,” Goodman said of his big week. “Since I’ve been here, I’ve been fouling too many pitches off and missing good pitches to hit and this week I’ve been on time, been able to capitalize on those pitches over the plate.”
The Indians scored 48 runs in the homestand, an average of eight runs per game.
“Great day,” hitting coach Zach Osborne said. “It was a tough series for us as a team, but we finished strong as an offense. Guys are looking comfortable in the box and doing well.”
Tri-City (19-29) got on the board in the first on a walk to Kyle Kasser and an RBI double by Gabe Matthews.
The lead was short-lived.
In the bottom half, Diaz singled and Drew Romo walked to put runners on the corners with one down. Simpson turned on an off-speed pitch and hit a high fly ball that carried to the short porch in right field for a three-run home run, his team-leading 15th of the season, and a 3-1 lead.
Boone led off the second with a single, stole second and a throwing error by the catcher moved him to third, allowing him to score on Martin’s broken bat flare to left.
Boone made it 5-2 with a massive blast to left center in the fourth, his fifth at High-A this season.
“(Boone and Martin) are working just as hard as everybody else,” Osborne said. “For them to have days like that is huge. It takes a little pressure off themselves.”
The Indians had three straight hits to start the bottom half, the last a Romo RBI double. Goodman stepped in and ripped a double to the wall in center to plate two more and the lead extended to 8-3.
Simpson tripled to plate Goodman, but he misread the sign by Little at third, ran through the base and was thrown out.
“I got mixed signals from (Little) over there. Little bit my fault,” Simpson said. “I saw ‘Lit’ give me a hand motion and I thought he meant ‘Go.’ Like, I didn’t know if they dropped it or threw it away or whatever. So, I just took off and then I stopped and looked back, and I went ‘Uh oh.’ “
The rally continued though. Gil singled, followed by a walk for Boone. Martin and Nic Kent singled home runs and the Indians led 11-3. All told, they sent 10 batters to the plate in the inning, scored six runs and had two runners thrown out at home.
Goodman’s homer in the sixth was a liner off the scoreboard in right center, and the Indians rallied for two more in the seventh, including an RBI double by Braiden Ward.
It was Goodman’s eighth home run since his promotion on July 6 and 30th overall this season.
“As long as I’m having a good approach and doing what I’m supposed to be doing, the numbers will come if you trust what you have,” he said.
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