Tri-City Dust Devils

Dust Devils run away from Spokane 10-3

PASCO -- The Tri-City Dust Devils kept rolling Friday night.

Led by a potent offensive attack and two solid pitching performances, the Dust Devils knocked off the Spokane Indians 10-3 in a Northwest League East Division game at Gesa Stadium in Pasco.

"It's good to see guys are swinging the bat well," Tri-City manager Freddie Ocasio said. "Normally, we seem to have trouble at home, but these guys just don't care."

Reliever Nelson Gon-zalez (1-0) struck out eight, while walking none over five innings to earn his first victory of the season. The Dust Devils (9-6) remained in a tie for first place with Boise, which knocked off Yakima 11-3.

Tri-City scored three runs in the fourth, fifth and eighth innings, while banging out 10 hits. Every Dust Devils hitter reached base, and eight players had hits.

"It just seems like everyone is hitting," right fielder Jared Simon said. "Normally, one or two guys carry the team, but everyone is chipping in."

Jordan Ribera hit a long home run just to the right of the batter's eye in center to start the scoring in the second inning for Tri-City.

In the fourth, Simon doubled in a run, Ryan Casteel hit an RBI groundout and Jeffrey Squier smoked an RBI double down the third-base line to put the Dust Devils on top 4-0.

They put away the game in the fifth, after giving up two runs in the top half on a couple of throwing errors.

Tyler Massey had an infield, run-scoring single, Simon hit an RBI single through the drawn-in infield and Casteel added an RBI single.

"We're really seeing the ball well and staying aggressive," Casteel said. "Everybody's approach is playing unselfish baseball."

The 10 runs tied the season high for the Dust Devils, who are averaging nearly six runs a game in nine home contests.

While the offense rolled, the Dust Devils got strong pitching from starter Ben Alsup and Gonzalez.

Alsup was making his professional debut after getting drafted in the 18th round of the most recent draft. He threw 59 pitches, while striking out five and walking none. He allowed three hits.

"He could throw all three pitches for strikes," said Casteel, who was getting his first look at Alsup just like everyone else in the stadium. "He came out throwing strikes."

Casteel also was impressed with Gonzalez, who had been slated to start but was bumped in favor of Alsup. The 6-foot-1, 170-pounder dominated with his curveball, consistently getting strikeouts with it.

"He wanted to go with the curve, so that's what we went with," Casteel said, "and he did a great job executing."

Gonzalez threw 74 pitches in his five innings, 56 for strikes. He allowed three runs, one earned.

"That's what he's been doing all season," Ocasio said. "(Alsup) did a good job. He went after hitters and kept them off balance."

NOTES: Right-hander Christian Bergman (1-2, 4.11 ERA) will start tonight for Tri-City when the Dust Devils play host to Spokane in Game 2 of this three-game set. Right-hander David Perez (0-2, 9.00) will start for the Indians. ... Spokane first baseman Brett Nicholas left the game in the bottom of the fifth after a Massey ground ball took a bad hop and smacked Nicholas in the upper body and sailed into right field. Trever Adams came on to replace Nicholas. There was no word on his condition after the game. ... Former Dust Devils player Charlie Blackmon hit his first major league home run, celebrating his 25th birthday in style. Blackmon hit a pinch-hit homer off Royals closer Joakim Soria. ... Spokane's Hirotoshi Onaka was 4-for-4 with two singles, a double and a triple. He entered Friday's game just 3-for-18 on the season. ... The announced crowd Friday was 2,383.

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