For the second game in a row, the Spokane Indians and Hillsboro Hops participated in a duel between the starting pitchers. And just like Saturday’s nailbiter, the visitors took a late lead.
But unlike Saturday’s 4-3 walk-off win for the Indians, there was no comeback for the home team.
Hillsboro leadoff hitter Andrew Pintar reached base five times and scored three times as the Hops blew it open late, beating the Indians 10-4 in the finale of a six-game High-A Northwest League series at Avista Stadium on Sunday.
The Indians (18-24 second half) split the series with the Hops (18-24).
Pintar went 4 for 4 with a homer, double, walk, stolen base and an RBI. Tommy Troy added a three-run homer in the eighth to ice it – part of a nine-run assault in the final three innings.
Indians outfielder Robby Martin, Jr. went 3 for 4 with two doubles, a run, an RBI and stolen base.
His second double came in a two-run ninth and hit halfway up the wall in left center.
“I knew with this wind it was gonna be tough to get it out that way, but I hit it pretty good,” Martin said. “I thought I got enough of it.”
He was happy with his effort but disappointed in the outcome.
“I’ll take it,” Martin said. “A good day at the plate, but we were looking to get that win.”
With just three weeks left in the season the Indians find themselves 51/2 games out in the second half standings.
“This game right here was big ending up splitting in the series,” Martin said. “We definitely wanted to win the series.”
It was scoreless until the Indians’ half of the fourth inning. Parker Kelly led off with a double off the wall in right, then Nic Kent bounced one through the hole on the right side to plate Kelly.
The lead didn’t last long as Pintar hit a long homer to left field in the fifth to tie it.
Indians starter Jarrod Cande left after five innings. He allowed one run on three hits and three walks with three strikeouts. He threw 88 pitches, 51 for strikes.
“Cande, you know, he didn’t have his best stuff, but he came out and battled and gave us an amazing shot,” catcher AJ Lewis said. “Held them to one run.”
Spokane broke the tie in the sixth. Ryan Ritter led off the frame with a double into the left field corner and with two down Martin doubled off the base of the wall in left to drive in the go-ahead run.
Hillsboro got it going against reliever Brayan Castillo in the seventh. Castillo hit Josh Day to start the inning, then after a balk moved the runner up, Pintar singled to put runners at the corners with one out.
Troy grounded to third but Jamari Baylor’s throw to second for the force soared over Kent’s head and into right field. All hands were safe, and Day scored without a throw to tie it up.
Gino Groover followed with a liner off Baylor’s glove for an RBI single to put Hillsboro up 3-2. With one out, Castillo walked David Martin to load the bases, then on his first pitch to Christian Cerda he committed a balk to force in a run.
Luis Amoroso retired Junior Franco to end the inning without further damage, but found his own trouble in the eighth. Troy hit a line drive homer to the short porch in right to make it 7-2, then Groover launched a no-doubter to left for the exclamation point.
Kevin Graham added a two-run shot in the ninth off Keegan James to add insult to injury.