Starter Jarrod Cande gives Spokane Indians seven strong innings in 7-3 win over Vancouver
May 25, 2023 Updated Thu., May 25, 2023 at 9:54 p.m.
There’s an adage in baseball that says, “Hitting is contagious.”
On Thursday at Avista Stadium, the Spokane Indians tried to show that quality starting pitching could be contagious, too.
A day after staff leader Gabriel Hughes tossed five innings of two-hit, one-run ball in an 11-6 win, Jarrod Cande took the hill and followed up with another stellar outing .
Cande allowed one run over seven innings and the Spokane Indians beat the Vancouver Canadians 7-3 for the second night in a row, knotting the eight-game series at two games apiece.
The win moves the Indians (22-18) atop the Northwest League standings, one half-game ahead of Eugene (22-19) and a full game above Vancouver (21-19).
“Starting the game off early on in the bullpen I felt just OK,” Cande said. “But I just know I had to go out there and compete, so I went out there and did.”
“That was a flat-out work of art,” Indians pitching coach Ryan Kibler said. “That’s what pitching is right there.”
Cande, a 23-year-old, was the Colorado Rockies’ 17th-round pick in the 2021 MLB draft out of Florida Southern College. In his last two starts, Cande was limited to four innings each.
Thursday’s seven-inning appearance matched his high in his professional career. Cande (3-0) allowed five hits, struck out three and walked one. He threw 83 pitches – 63 for strikes – and forced 12 groundouts and four flyouts.
“He had four pitches all working off of each other,” Kibler said. “He had a plan and followed it. Executed.”
After Tuesday’s doubleheader, which were both started by relievers, it was important for Cande to go deep.
“The bullpen is gonna sleep well tonight so they can come out these next couple of days and do what they have to do,” Cande said. “And then honestly, I’ll sleep well tonight, too.”
Nic Kent got the offense started for the Indians with a solo home run in the third inning, his third of the season.
“I was on (the injured list) for a week, and just watching them hit a bunch – I was little jealous,” Kent said.
“But yeah, I’m just seeing it good right now, try and take good swings.”
Vancouver tied it in the fourth inning. Michael Turconi and Gabriel Martinez hit back-to-back singles to put runners on the corners, and Turconi scored on a sacrifice fly by Devonte Brown.
The Indians loaded the bases with one down in the fifth on a pair of walks and AJ Lewis’ single.
Adael Amador struck out, but Benny Montgomery hit a ground ball that bounced off the pitcher’s mound, through the infield and into center, driving in two runs to make it 3-1.
Yanquiel Fernandez led off the sixth with a single and took second on a fielding error by Brown in center field.
Juan Guerrero walked and Ben Sems’ soft liner the other way just got over the head of third baseman Alex De Jesus and into left field, scoring Fernandez for a three-run advantage.
Lewis walked to load the bases and the Canadians called for a pitching change. Amador laced a double to the left-center gap off reliever TJ Brock to clear the bases and put the Indians up 7-1.
The long half-inning prompted Kibler to think about a pitching change, but Cande’s body language gave the coach confidence in his starter.
“I thought about it,” Kibler said. “He was only 72 (pitches). He kept pacing back and front and forth in front of me. He was cussing the dugout because there’s no room, no space to move around. So, it was on his mind.
“He went ahead and eased my mind. And then I think the last inning might have been his best.”
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