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Sports >  Spokane Indians

Julio Carreras knocks in five, Spokane Indians execute in 10th inning to edge Everett

June 22, 2022 Updated Wed., June 22, 2022 at 10:08 p.m.

The sun presented challenges to fielding all evening as the Spokane Indians hosted the Everett AquaSox at Avista Stadium on Wednesday, June 22, 2022.   (Dave Nichols)
The sun presented challenges to fielding all evening as the Spokane Indians hosted the Everett AquaSox at Avista Stadium on Wednesday, June 22, 2022.  (Dave Nichols)

The early-summer sun can be dangerous to fielders at Avista Stadium in the early innings. Add in a decent breeze blowing right-to-left across the outfield and it can turn downright hazardous on fly balls and popups.

That was the case Wednesday, as the few thin clouds in the sky provided no protection for fielders of either team and the challenges persisted until the sun dropped below the rim of the right field grandstand. 

“It definitely is tough,” Spokane outfielder Robby Martin Jr. said. “I’ve been in left field most of the time this season and you can’t use it an excuse because you got to do whatever you can to make the play, but it definitely is tough.”

The conditions led to baserunners and runs in the early going, and the home team executed late.

Ronaiker Palma laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt in the 10th inning, Bladimir Restituyo cashed the runner in with a sacrifice fly and the Indians beat the Everett AquaSox 9-8 in the second game of a six-game High-A Northwest League series at Avista Stadium on Wednesday.

“Perfect,” Indians manager Scott Little said. “That’s how you want to do it in extra innings.

“Special shout out for Palma. He didn’t make a good bunt (earlier) and then he came back and on his own – he had the option (in the 10th) – and he made a good bunt to get the guy over in extra innings.”

Julio Carreras had a big day for Spokane, going 2 for 4 with five RBIs and three runs.

“I love Julio,” Little said. “I need to give him a day off, but can’t hardly do it. He plays every inning of every game, makes all plays at shortstop, coming up with the big hits.”

The Indians (33-30) loaded the bases with no outs in the first, then Carreras lofted a fly to left that got caught in the breeze and hit off the top of the wall for a two-run single.

In the third, Everett’s Victor Labrada reached on an infield and scored when center fielder Bladimir Restituyo dropped a routine fly ball from Noelvi Marte after struggling with the sun. Marte got to second on the play and scored on a single by Alberto Rodriguez to tie it.

Everett (31-33) second baseman Alex Sanchez dropped a popup by Eddy Diaz in the bottom half, then Zac Veen ripped a triple into the right-center gap to retake the lead.

It stayed that way until the sixth. Marte flared one to right that fell for a double. Indians starter Tony Locey picked up a pair of strikeouts, but he hit Andy Thomas, then James Parker and Mike Salvatore hit back-to-back doubles to score three runs – and end Locey’s outing.

Locey allowed five runs, three earned, on five hits and two walks with a hit batter and six strikeouts. He threw 92 pitches, 56 for strikes. 

“I don’t know if he got tired or not,” Little said. “But you gotta finish a little better than that. And then he left the ball up in the zone.”

The Indians loaded the bases with one down in the sixth but came away with just one run on a Martin groundout to make it 5-4.

They loaded them up again with one down in the seventh – this time with different results. Carreras worked the count full and on the ninth pitch of the at-bat he ripped one to the right-center gap for a triple, clearing the bases and giving the home team a 7-5 lead. 

“He had great intent on that bases loaded situation with what he was trying to do,” Little said. “Outstanding.”

A sacrifice fly by Ronaiker Palma brought home Carreras for an 8-5 lead after seven.

Reliever Robinson Hernandez got the first two outs of the eighth without incident, but a double and walk preceded a game-tying homer by Mike Salvatore, setting up the excitement of the extra innings.

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