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Spokane Indians

Jake Snider homers late, Spokane Indians drop series opener to Hillsboro 8-6

Andrew Pintar broke open a close game with a three-run double in the eighth inning, and the Hillsboro Hops held on to beat the Spokane Indians 8-6 in the opener of a six-game Northwest League series at Avista Stadium on Tuesday.

The first-place Indians (27-21) remained one game ahead of Eugene (27-23) with 16 games to go in the first half. Hillsboro improved to 25-25.

The Indians got on the board first in the third inning. Jake Snider led off with a flared single the opposite way and went to second on a wild pitch. Spokane manager Robinson Cancel asked Jose Cordova to sacrifice, and Snider moved over to third.

Jean Perez followed with a soft liner that just got past the second baseman and into right field for an RBI single. Perez stole second and went to third on a groundout, then left fielder Brett Johnson lost Dyan Jorge’s fly ball in the sun. It fell safely and went as an RBI single to make it 2-0.

It didn’t stay that way long. Hillsboro’s Gavin Conticello and Neyfy Castillo hit back-to-back one-out singles, then Manny Pena lined a run-scoring double into the left-field corner. Jose Fernandez followed with a grounder to short that Jorge couldn’t handle, and Castillo scored on the error to tie it. A fielder’s choice bought home the inning’s third run.

The Hops added a run in the sixth on Gavin Logan’s RBI double.

Kyle Karros led off the bottom half of the inning with a single, moved up on cleanup hitter Robby Martin Jr.’s sacrifice bunt, and scored on Juan Guerrero’s double off the top of the left-field wall to get Spokane within one.

Hillsboro opened it up in the eighth. Spokane reliever Luis Amoroso issued back-to-back two-out walks to load the bases, then Pintar laced a double to left-center to clear the bases. Pintar scored on Conticello’s single to chase Amoroso to put the Hops up 8-3.

Snider made things interesting in the bottom half, slugging a three-run homer to left-center to make it a two-run game.

The Indians put two on with one down in the ninth, but Karros struck out looking and Martin bounced out to end the game.

Indians starter Victor Juarez went 5⅓ innings and allowed four runs, three earned, on six hits. He struck out six and walked two.