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Bullpen saves the day, Spokane Indians score three in 10th to beat Hillsboro 6-3

HILLSBORO, Ore. — Over the past three games, the Spokane Indians have slugged their way to wins. On Friday the bullpen, which has struggled much of the season, came through in a big way.

Five relievers combined for 9 1/3 shutout innings and the Indians rallied for three runs in the 10th inning to knock off the Hillsboro Hops 6-3 in a Northwest League game at Ron Tonkin Field.

First-place Spokane (30-24) won its fourth straight over last-place Hillsboro (22-33) and retained a 1 1/2 game lead over Vancouver (28-25) with 11 games left in the first half. 

Cullen Kafka took over for starter Jaden Hill, who was lifted after two outs in the first inning, and went 3 1/3 no-hit innings with a walk and three strikeouts. Anderson Bido, Luis Amoroso and Angel Chivilli followed with shutout stints and Bryce McGowan (3-0) struck out four over the last two innings to earn the win. 

Braiden Ward started the 10th inning as the free runner and moved over to third when Jordan Beck reached on a fielder’s choice. Juan Guerrero grounded out and Ward scored and Ronaiker Palma followed with an RBI double. Ben Sems delivered an RBI single to put the Indians up 6-3.

McGowan struck out two in a scoreless bottom half.

Palma went 3 for 5 with two runs and is hitting .323 (10 for 31) in eight games since being assigned to Spokane on May 30. Benny Montgomery had two hits, an RBI and a stolen base. 

Hill allowed three runs on two hits and three walks in the first inning. The 23-year-old righty has a 9.78 ERA in nine starts for Spokane this season. 

The series continues Saturday at 7:05 p.m.