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Bats struggle with runners on base, Spokane Indians fall to Tri-City 4-2

From staff reports

PASCO – Relief pitcher Roman Phansalkar was almost untouchable and the Tri-City Dust Devils beat the Spokane Indians 4-2 in a Northwest League game at Gesa Stadium on Thursday.

The Indians (25-22) went 2 for 13 with runners in scoring position and stranded 10. They lead the six-game series 2-1.

Phansalkar tossed four one-hit shutout innings to earn the win for Tri-City (24-24). He struck out three and did not walk a batter.

The Indians’ Adael Amador led off the game with a single, stole second and third, and scored on Juan Guerrero’s single.

Yanquiel Fernandez singled to put runners at the corners and Guerrero scored on a groundout.

Tri-City scored three in the bottom half against Indians starter Jarrod Cande. Adrian Placencia hit his fifth home run of the season, a solo shot, and with two on and two down, Alexander Ramirez singled. A pair of throwing errors on the play by center fielder Jordan Beck and Cande, allowed two runs to score.

Spokane loaded the bases with no outs in the fourth. The Dust Devils made a pitching change to Phansalkar, who retired the next three batters to strand all three runners.

It stayed that way until the bottom of the fifth. Placencia hit a one-out double, went to third on a groundout and scored on Arol Vera’s single to make it 4-2.

AJ Lewis led off the Indians’ ninth with a single and Nic Kent drew a walk. Braiden Ward moved both runners up with a sacrifice bunt. After Amador struck out, Guerrero walked to load the bases for Fernandez, the league’s RBI leader.

But Fernandez struck out against reliever Nick Jones to end the game. Jones earned his fourth save.

Cande allowed four runs, three earned, on seven hits. He walked two and struck out one.

Off and running: The Indians stole five bases in the first two innings – but no more the rest of the game. Amador had two to increase his season total to 11, tying Zach Kokoska for the team lead. Beck added one and Ward had two.

Injuries: Ben Sems was hit by a pitch on his foot in the sixth. He stayed in the game and was picked off at first base. He did not come out to play defense and was replaced by Aiverson Rodriguez. Kokoska sat out his second straight game after leaving Tuesday’s game legging out a single.