Indians Sink Hops 9-2, Sweep Series with Eight-Game Win Streak
The Indians owned the Hops tonight as well as all week. None so apparent as the final game of the series. How did the Spokane Indians beat the Hillsboro Hops 9-2? There were so many ways to choose from, it is hard to tell.
Error of Their Ways
The Hops got together and committed six errors on the night. That just happens to match the six unearned runs the Indians received tonight. In the second inning alone, the Indians sent the entire lineup to the plate. They scored four runs and left two runners on base. Spokane did all of that on just three hits.
Indians and the Even Innings
The Hops lost more pitchers to the even numbered innings than the odd. In the second inning, nine batters marched to the plate and four runs scored. The fourth inning also saw nine batters reach the plate and three runs scored. Finally, in the sixth inning of a seven inning game, eight batters knocked the dust off their cleats and two runners scored.
Once the Spokane Indians scoring machine started rolling, it was extremely difficult to stop. Hops starter Kyler Stout (L, 0-3) allowed four runs in the second inning. To be fair to Kyler, it was a bullpen day. A bullpen day is where there is no starter, just bullpen members getting a couple of innings each. Josh McMinn was chased from the mound in the fourth after he allowed three runs to score.
Kai-Wei Lin relieved McMinn that inning and was the only Hops pitcher to not allow a run. In addition, there was only one hit. Nick Snyder closed the sixth, facing eight batters and two runs scored.
Indians Knowing Where to Hit
The Indians safely hit in every inning except the first. And there, two of their batters walked. Between hits, walks and errors, Spokane had 23 batters reach base. Having that much ammunition to dodge, several runs will leak through. Even counting just the eleven hits, the Indians batted .354 for the night. The Hops weren’t even close. Their six hits turned out to be a ,230 average. Again, ammunition. The Indians ammunition wasn’t bigger. Just more of it.
Not that there was much power. What the two teams did have was pretty evenly matched. The Indians had Cade Harris’ homer in the fourth. The Hops had Andy Yerzy’s homer in the sixth and Leodany Perez’ RBI double in the fifth. Andy has been hot this last week. He has hit five home runs and is now tied with the departed Eduardo Diaz for the team lead. Included in that burst is a two-run homer game earlier this week.
A lot of the credit goes to Noah Davis (W, 2-1). He was not only the Indians starting pitcher, he was also his own middle reliever and closer tonight. A complete game. During those seven innings, he faced five batters over the minimum. His pitch count was only 78 itches. That comes out to average eleven pitches per inning.
The win stretched the Spokane Indians (51-44) winning streak to nine games and counting. They kept pace with Eugene and gained on Everett. Five games separate Spokane from the top and four games from Eugene and second place.
The loss extended the Hillsboro Hops (42-53) losing streak to eight games. But, they stayed one and a half games behind Vancouver and fourth place. It is also the second series this season in which the Hops have been swept. The first time was by Eugene earlier in the season.
Consequently, the Indians go on the road to play Everett with a chance to catch up with the league leaders. It would take another sweep but they are within reach with four weeks and 24 games to go. In addition, the Hops come home to host Eugene for the final time this season. Besides the earlier sweep I mentioned, these two teams have split the wins 12-12. Furthermore, even each individual series was split 3-3.
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