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Sports >  Spokane Indians

Joe Rock solid for seven, Spokane Indians bounce back to beat Hillsboro 3-1

UPDATED: Sat., June 18, 2022

The Spokane Indians took one on the chin Friday night, a 12-3 loss in which they allowed four home runs and 19 hits.

They needed a shutdown effort on Saturday, and got just that.

Starter Joe Rock allowed one run over seven solid innings, Julio Carreras and Bladimir Restituyo both homered in the seventh inning and the Indians beat the Hillsboro Hops 3-1 in the fifth game of a six-game Northwest League series at Avista Stadium.

“The way they came out today after yesterday, that was a really tough night for us, especially with the pitching,” Indians acting manager Julio Campos said. “The way we bounced back … we came, we competed. We find a way to win this game.”

Rock (6-3) allowed four hits and a walk with three strikeouts. The 21-year-old lefty, the No. 68 overall pick in the 2021 MLB draft, threw 89 pitches, 64 for strikes.

“I felt great,” Rock said. “I had all three pitches working for me. That’s a big focus for me throughout this year, so it was good to come out and have three pitches working.

“We just got to get hot here, to try to win the first half. Coming out here and getting a win, it’s good feeling.”

“Oh man. Throwing strikes, pounding the zone. He was awesome,” Campos said of Rock. “Not afraid to throw anywhere, any pitch, any count. A great outing for him.”

The Indians got on the board in the first as Eddy Diaz led off with a single, stole second, went to third on a groundout and came home on a sacrifice fly by Colin Simpson.

Hillsboro evened it in the fifth as Caleb Roberts doubled, went to third on a groundout and scored on a sacrifice fly by Shane Muntz.

It stayed that way until the seventh, when Carreras turned on a 1-2 pitch and clubbed it over the wall in left-center for his eighth of the season. Two batters later, Restituyo ripped one down the line for his third of the season and a 3-1 lead.

“Just trying to do my best to help the team win,” Carreras said. “That’s what we are here for, you know, to help the team win and to win games. If we lost two in a row, that’s OK. We’ll get them tomorrow.”

“I mean, concentration, you know, try to dominate somehow,” Campos said. “We tried to find a way early in the game, using speed, doing different stuff. But if that doesn’t happen, the solo shots, we take them.”

The Hops put runners as second and third with one out in the eighth. Tim Tawa flied out to medium left field, and Robby Martin Jr’s throw to the plate nabbed Danny Oriente to complete the inning-ending double play.

Anderson Pilar earned a save, his first, with two innings of shutout relief.

Game notes

• Web gems: Cristopher Navarro made a couple of sparkling plays at third in the third, first diving to his right to make a backhanded stab and strong throw, then racing across the infield on a high chop to get the runner by a half step.

In the fourth, Simpson played a line drive off the left-field wall and fired a strike to second to nab Ryan Bliss trying to stretch a single into a double for the third out of the inning.

“The entire group is working hard every single day,” Campos said. “They are showing what they are capable of doing. They are having fun out there. I’m sitting in the dugout watching those guys play and it’s really fun.”

• Scary sight: In the sixth inning, Indians catcher Ronaiker Palma went down to block a pitch in the dirt and it bounced up and hit him in the throat area.

Palma was down for several moments and was attended to by both teams’ trainers. He eventually was helped off the field and replaced in the lineup by Drew Romo.

Campos said Palma was struck more on the side of his neck and was able to talk as he was coming off the field. Palma was transported to a hospital for precaution and observation.

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