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Sports >  Spokane Indians

Reliever Tyler Ahearn struggles in ninth, Spokane Indians fall to Tri-City in series finale

July 31, 2022 Updated Sun., July 31, 2022 at 9:45 p.m.

Reliever Tyler Ahearn had been very good since his promotion to High-A a couple of weeks ago, but he wasn’t at his best on Sunday.

Steven Rivas went 2 for 4 with three RBIs and delivered a walk-off single against Ahearn and the Tri-City Dust Devils beat the Spokane Indians 5-4 in the finale of a six-game Northwest League series at Gesa Stadium in Pasco. 

The Indians (14-15) remain in fourth place in the NWL second half, 4 1/2 games behind first-place Eugene (19-11), which visits Avista Stadium for a six-game series starting Tuesday.

The Indians led 4-3 entering the ninth, but Ahearn (1-2) had trouble finding the strike zone and walked a pair of batters. Staton Podaras doubled to plate one run, and Rivas followed with the game-winner. 

Spokane took an early lead in the third, as Braiden Ward led off with a bunt single and stole second. With two down, Zac Veen lined a single to center to plate Ward, his league-leading 58th RBI of the season.

It stayed 1-0 until the bottom of the fifth. Indians starter Mason Green walked Podaras to put two on with two down and Rivas lashed a single to center to bring both in and give the Dust Devils (11-19) a 2-1 lead. 

Green was finished after five innings and 87 pitches in the 102-degree heat. He allowed two runs on four hits and three walks with three strikeouts.  

The Indians tied it up in the sixth. Julio Carreras drew a one-out walk, went to third on a single by Hunter Goodman and scored on an RBI single by Colin Simpson.

The first batter that Indians reliever Robinson Hernandez faced in the sixth was Zach Neto, the No. 13 overall selection in the past MLB draft by the Angels, and Neto crushed a 3-2 offering for solo homer, his first as a pro.

Spokane loaded the bases in the eighth with no outs. Goodman came to the plate, but he fouled one off and it hit him in the face. Trainers attended to him, and Goodman had to leave the game. Ronaiker Palma entered and grounded out to short but brought in a run to tie the game. 

Simpson followed with grounder to second and Veen beat the throw home and all hands were safe, putting the Indians up 4-3.

Veen stole two bases to extend his league-leading total to 47 in 50 attempts. 

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