HILLSBORO — New city, but the bats stayed hot.
Yanquiel Fernandez led a 19-hit attack going 4 for 5 with a home run and four RBIs and the Spokane Indians blew out the Hillsboro Hops 15-7 in the opener of a six-game High-A Northwest League series at Ron Tonkin Field on Tuesday.
Spokane (27-24) pulled even with Vancouver for first place in the first half with 13 games to go.
Fernandez tied teammate Jordan Beck for the league lead in homers with 14 and increased his season RBI total to 52, also tops in the NWL.
The Indians scored in all but three innings and seven batters had multi-hit games. Sterlin Thompson hit his third home run in two games and Benny Montgomery homered and knocked in three.
The Indians jumped on Hillsboro starter Avery Short for three runs in the first inning. Adael Amador (2 for 5, three runs) led off with a triple and scored on a single by Montgomery. Thompson followed with a long home run, his sixth of the season.
The Hops (22-30) got one back in the bottom half. Joshua Day was hit by a pitch from Indians starter Carson Palmquist, went to second on a double by JJ O’Orazio and scored on a single by Junior Franco.
Amador walked in the second ahead of Montgomery’s third home run of the season, then Fernandez and Beck hit back-to-back doubles for another run and Spokane led 6-1.
Hillsboro scored twice in the bottom of the third, with D’Orazio supplying an RBI double.
In the fourth, Amador doubled and Thompson singled, setting up Fernandez for a three-run home run to make it 9-3.
The Indians added two more in the fifth on a passed ball and sacrifice fly by Thompson.
Guerrero and Ronaiker Palma had RBI hits in the seventh inning, while Fernandez and Beck knocked in runs in the ninth.
Palmquist (3-1) got the win. He went five innings and allowed three runs on four hits and a walk with seven strikeouts. He threw 57 of his 84 pitches for strikes and retired the last eight batters he faced.