Blaine Crim’s Grand Slam, Spokane Indians Stop Hillsboro Hops 7-4
Blaine Crim’s grand slam gave the Spokane Indians the bump they needed to keep the lead over the Hillsboro Hops, 7-4. One pattern that seems to form in every game in this series is that the eventual winner explodes with a smothering smattering of runs that conquers the opponent.
Power Bar Raised
On Friday, The Hops won 8-2 in part driven by the two-run homer by Ryan January. The Hops scored all eight runs over a two inning period. Saturday night, the Indians returned the favor, defeating the Hops by a score of 9-6, with a major part of it being Derwin Barreto’s three-run blast. All nine runs for Spokane came in the third and fifth innings.
Tonight, the Indians scored all seven runs in two different innings, the fourth and eighth. The power tonight came in the shape of Blaine Crim’s grand slam in the eighth. It only makes us wonder who will hit the decisive home run tomorrow night in the final fourth game of the series?
The game tonight actually featured opposing stars battling for their team. Crim fought with his grand slam. For the Hops, it appeared in the form of Tristin English with his solo shot in the ninth inning. English also added a two-run double in the fourth to start the scoring for both sides.
The way the game began tonight, fans had every right to expect a pitcher’s duel. That was exactly what it was for the first three innings. Both teams started rookie 2019 draft choices still on limited pitch count. But, for those few innings, both pitchers showed the promise that made each team draft them.
Both pitchers left with the score tied at 0-0. Conor Grammes started for the Hops and pitched three shut-out innings before reaching his pitch limit. In his three innings, Grammes only allowed one hit before he left the mound for the night.
On the other side of the scorecard, Justin Slaten began for the Indians. Slaten only lasted two innings before being pulled at his pitch count but in that short time, he left a potential no hitter for his relief. It would be a treat to watch these two face off again a few years down the road after they have both earned the standard 100 pitch count allowed more seasoned pitchers.
Luis Rosario (W, 4-1) came in relief for Slaten and pitched the majority of the game giving up only two runs for the win. Nic Laio (S, 2) pitched the eighth and ninth innings for the save. Marcos Tineo (L, 6-3) gave up three runs for the loss.
With the loss, the Hillsboro Hops (19-11) still maintain a three game lead over the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes for first in the Southern Division with seven games left to play in the second half. The win grew the Spokane Indians lead to two games over the Tri-City Dust Devils for the lead in the Northern Division.
Both teams will meet for the fourth and final time in this series at Avista Stadium. The Indians currently lead the series 2-1. The Hops have a chance to end it all in a tie while the Indians will hope to have a more victorious 3-1 series outcome.
Consequently, the Indians will send Theo McDowell (1-4) to the mound. In McDowell’s last appearance on last Monday, he pitched 2.2 innings before being chased by three runs on three hits. However, the Hops have yet to name their starter.
Meanwhile, stay with the Minor League Sports Report for game recaps throughout the regular season and playoffs. Also, follow me on Twitter for half inning updates on all Hops home games. The next home game is on August 28th when the Hops return home to face the Boise Hawks for the final home stand of the regular season.
By Greg Stoker