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Spokane Indians

Spokane Indians win streak ends in hail of homers in 17-6 loss to Tri-City

The Tri-City Dust Devils have been the worst team in the Northwest League this season. They finished the first half with a record of 26-39, 12½ games behind the Spokane Indians – the first-half champions – with a run differential of minus-70.

It hasn’t improved in the second half, as the Dust Devils limped into play on Sunday at 1-13, outscored by 46 runs over that span and losers of five straight to the Indians this week.

But on Saturday at Avista Stadium, the Tri-City batters took a season’s worth of frustration out on Spokane pitching.

The Dust Devils – last in the league in home runs – hit five homers in the first four innings, building a 10-run lead, and the Indians lost 17-6 in the series finale.

The Indians had won six straight overall and eight of the past nine. Indians starting pitcher Mason Green was roughed up for six runs on seven hits and two walks in just two innings.

All five Indians pitchers gave up runs, and it was the most runs allowed by Indians pitching this season.

“It’s baseball. Can’t win ’em all,” Spokane’s Kyle Karros said. “You know, the pitchers have been great all week. Can’t turn on them now. We put up a little bit of a fight on offense, but, you know, it’s baseball.”

The Indians also hit five homers – two from Cole Carrigg and one each from Karros, Bryant Betancourt and EJ Andrews Jr. Carrigg and Karros had three hits apiece. The ball was flying out of the park in the warmer weather.

“Selfishly, I like that part of it,” Karros said. “There were a lot of homers hit today. … But we’ll be back at it next week against Everett.”

Karros admitted that in an early blowout it might be tempting for some to allow focus to wander.

“I just tried to keep it light and enjoy every part of the game and just enjoy being out there,” he said. “It’s the game we play and you gotta respect it. The good days, the bad days – you’ve got to stay after it because it’s days like these, when it’s easy to just kind of hang them up and give in early, these are the games if you stay with it, you’re gonna get rewarded for it in the long run.”

Tri-City (2-13) jumped out early on Matt Coutney’s first-inning solo home run, his seventh of the season, off the batter’s eye in straight center field.

Carrigg tied it up in the bottom half with a line-drive solo homer off the caboose in right-center, his sixth of the season.

The tie didn’t last long. With one down in the second, Green served up a three-run home run to No. 8 hitter Andy Blake. Three batters later, Caleb Ketchup launched a moonshot down the left-field line that cleared the screen for a two-run homer and 6-1 lead.

The Indians (11-4) changed pitchers in the third to Sergio Sanchez, but the results didn’t change. After Cam Williams reached on a four-pitch walk, he took second on a wild pitch and third when catcher Betancourt fumbled the pickup.

It ended up not mattering, as Will McGillis crushed a line drive over the left-field fence for his second homer of the season. Tri-City added another run later in the inning on Joe Redfield’s RBI double, and the Indians trailed 9-1 after 2½ innings.

In the bottom half, Dyan Jorge failed to run out a grounder, which turned into a double play, and was removed from the game by manager Robinson Cancel.

The Indians switched pitchers again, with Davison Palermo taking over. But as in the previous inning, he was greeted by another Tri-City home run, Chad Stevens’ two-run blast to make it 11-1.

Karros finally gave the home fans something to cheer in the bottom half with his eighth homer of the season, to left-center.

“I saw a fastball and I knew I got it really well,” Karros said. “With the way the ball had been flying earlier in the day, I knew that thing wasn’t staying in the park.”

Indians reliever Felix Remires gave up a run-scoring double and balked in a run in the sixth.

Betancourt hit his sixth homer of the season, a two-run shot, in the bottom half, and Andrews and Carrigg hit solo homers in the seventh.

The Indians start a six-game series against Everett (8-6) on Tuesday at 6:35 p.m. at Avista Stadium.