Wednesday’s doubleheader at Avista Stadium provided the Spokane Indians two chances to cut into their deficit in the Northwest League playoff chase.
But a sweep by the visitors has the Indians’ chances sliding further away.
Vancouver scored against starter Joe Rock early in his appearance, and again late, and the Canadians beat the Indians 6-4 in seven innings in the first game.
In the second game, Miguel Hiraldo hit his second homer of the night and the C’s topped the Indians 5-4.
Spokane’s Colin Simpson had three hits in the opener, including his team-leading 16th home run – a two-run shot in the sixth inning to make it close.
The Indians (26-30, second half) fell 4½ games behind the Canadians in the overall season-record tiebreaker with 10 games remaining for the second playoff spot. Vancouver moved one game behind Eugene (35-21) in the second-half chase.
Vancouver (34-22) jumped on top in the first against Rock. Dasan Brown drew a leadoff walk and went to third on Rainer Nunez’s double. A groundout brought a run in, then Alex De Jesus lined an RBI double to make it 2-0.
The Indians’ bats got going in the second. Hunter Goodman led off with a double and scored on Simpson’s single. Mateo Gil singled to put runners at the corners and Robby Martin Jr. lofted a fly to deep center, allowing Simpson to tie it at 2.
Hiraldo broke the tie in the fourth with a homer to right-center, his ninth of the season.
Rock ran into more trouble in the fifth. He gave up a leadoff single and issued back-to-back walks to load the bases. The Indians got an out at home on a force play, but a single by Gabby Martinez and sacrifice fly by De Jesus scored two runs.
Hiraldo added an RBI single to make it 6-2 and Indians manager Scott Little came out to lift Rock.
The 22-year-old allowed six runs on six hits and four walks with five strikeouts over 4⅔ innings.
Goodman led off the sixth with a double to the right-center gap and Simpson lined one over the right-field fence to trim the deficit to two.
Simpson is two home runs from his professional career high set in 2019 while playing with Grand Junction, then of the short-season Pioneer League.
Vancouver, playing as the home team in the second game, scored a run in the first inning on a groundout against Indians starter Anderson Amarista.
The Indians took a 2-1 lead in the third on a two-run double by Eddy Diaz.
The C’s tied it in the bottom half on an RBI single by Damiano Palmegiana, then De Jesus and Hiraldo homered in the fourth.
Amarista lasted four innings and allowed four runs on four hits, three walks and a hit batter with two strikeouts.
Bladimir Restituyo hit a solo homer, his seventh, for Spokane in the fifth, but an RBI double by PK Morris in the bottom half restored Vancouver’s two-run lead.
Ronaiker Palma led off the ninth with a single and with two-down, Martin lined a single to make it a one-run game.
Braiden Ward pinch-ran and went to third on a single by Yorvis Torrealba. That brought up Diaz, who bounced to first on a check swing to end the game.
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