From staff reports
PASCO – Gabriel Hughes is going a long way to prove a couple of blow-up innings at the end of otherwise solid outings earlier this season were a blip.
Hughes tossed five shutout innings and the Spokane Indians beat the Tri-City Dust Devils 5-3 in a Northwest League game at Gesa Stadium on Wednesday.
The Indians (25-21) have taken the first two games of the series against the Dust Devils (23-24).
Hughes (4-3) allowed just two hits, struck out eight and walked two, throwing 52 of his 82 pitches for strikes. It was his third appearance of five-plus innings with no runs allowed and fifth of one run or fewer.
The Colorado Rockies’ first-round pick in 2022 out of Gonzaga has struck out 55 over 40⅔ innings this season.
The Indians took a 1-0 lead in the third inning. AJ Lewis led off with a single and went to second on Adael Amador’s walk. With one down, Benny Montgomery grounded into a potential inning-ending double play, but the throw to first was wide and Lewis scored on the error.
Tri-City pitcher Caden Dana threw a wild pitch, allowing Montgomery to move up a base. After a visit from the Dust Devils’ coaches and trainer, Dana came out of the game with an injury.
Reliever Nick Mondak walked the first two batters he faced to load the bases. Juan Guerrero ended a 10-pitch at-bat with a liner down the left-field line to clear the bases and put the Indians up 4-0.
The Indians added a run in the sixth on Lewis’ RBI single. They loaded the bases with one out, but Amador and Montgomery struck out to end the rally.
Lewis finished 3 for 4 with a run and RBI.
In the eighth, Indians reliever Juan Mejia gave up a leadoff double and three straight walks to force in a run. Manager Robinson Cancel pulled Mejia for Bryce McGowan, who struck out the first two batters he faced before Alexander Ramirez hit a two-run double to make it 5-3.
McGowan came back to retire Osmy Gregoiro on a lineout to keep the lead intact.
Angel Chivilli handled the ninth inning for his fifth save of the season.