Yanquiel Fernandez blew open a close game with a grand slam in the eighth inning and the Spokane Indians beat the Vancouver Canadians 10-5 in a Northwest League game at Avista Stadium on Friday.
It was the third straight win for the Indians (23-18) over the Canadians (21-20). Spokane, which leads the eight-game series 3-2, remained one-half game ahead of Eugene (23-19) for first place .
Fernandez finished 2 for 5 with his 12th homer of the season and four RBIs. His 45 RBIs lead the league.
Spokane’s Juan Guerrero went 3 for 3 with three runs and an RBI, and Benny Montgomery added three hits and scored.
Vancouver’s Garrett Spain doubled and scored on a double play in the seventh to make it a two-run game.
But the Indians made that one back – and more – in the eighth. Jordan Beck had an infield single with the bases loaded for one run before Fernandez’s slam sealed it.
Indians starter Jaden Hill got off to a rocky start, but the 23-year-old, a second-round pick of the Colorado Rockies in 2021, settled down for one of his better outings of the season.
He went four innings and allowed two runs on two hits, walking two and striking out two. The four innings and 63 pitches represented a season high for Hill.
Hill allowed a single to Josh Kasevich and back-to-back walks to load the bases with one out in the first. He hit Gabriel Martinez to force in one run, then a second scored on a fielder’s choice.
The Indians’ offense got Hill off the hook. Guerrero drove in a run in the second with a single, and Adael Amador scored on a sacrifice fly in the third.
Spokane added two in the fourth on Ben Sems’ double to center.
An error put runners at the corners for the Indians in the sixth. Amador drilled one to center that Garrett Spain was able to track down, but Guerrero scored easily on the sacrifice fly to make it 5-2.