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Anderson Pilar sparkles in first start, Spokane Indians trounce Tri-City 14-1

From staff reports

It’s been a long season for 25-year-old pitcher Anderson Pilar. After spending the entire season in Spokane last year, he wasn’t assigned to an affiliate out of spring training and didn’t play in a game until June, when he joined the Colorado Rockies’ Arizona Complex League team.

He spent the month there building up arm strength, then stepped up to Low-A Fresno for three starts before finally making it back to Spokane at the beginning of the month.

He worked exclusively from the pen for the Indians until Tuesday – turning in his season-long appearance in the process.

Pilar struck out seven over six innings of one-run ball and the Indians cruised past the Tri-City Dust Devils 14-1 in the opener of a six-game Northwest League series at Avista Stadium.

The Indians improved to 19-24 in the second half while the last-place Dust Devils fell to 16-27. Ryan Ritter hit a three-run homer and Jesus Ordonez, in his first game with Spokane, went 3 for 4 with a walk, a double, three RBIs and a run.

Pilar gave up four hits and walked one. He threw 89 pitches, 56 for strikes and retired eight of the last nine batters he faced.

Spokane scored all the runs it needed in the first inning.

Tri-City starting pitcher Sammy Natera Jr. walked Braiden Ward and Benny Montgomery and with one down, Ritter punished a center-cut fastball, driving it over the center field wall – his fifth High-A homer and 23rd for the season.

Robby Martin, Jr., Ordonez and AJ Lewis led off the second with consecutive singles to make it 4-0.

Tri-City got a run in the fourth on an RBI fly out by Arol Vera.

The Indians loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom half courtesy of two walks and a hit batter. Ordonez scored on a double play grounder and Juan Guerrero added an RBI single to make it 6-1.

Parker Kelly tripled to lead off the Indians’ fifth inning and scored on a double by Martin.

The Indians loaded the bases again in the sixth, and a walk by Kelly forced in a run. Ordonez followed with a line-drive two-run double to center to make it 10-1.

Moves: Ordonez was promoted to Spokane from Low-A Fresno. The 23-year-old catcher hit .217 with no homers and 16 RBIs in 36 games for the Grizzlies.

Sweet relief: Tyler Ahearn provided two innings of no-hit relief. He walked one batter and struck out four.