The Spokane Indians kept rolling Saturday night in front of 3,189 fans at Gesa Stadium, pounding out 13 hits in a 7-3 Northwest League win over the Tri-City Dust Devils, increasing their North Division lead to four games over the Vancouver Canadians.
The Indians’ magic number for clinching the North is six games after Vancouver (17-12) lost 11-4 at home to Everett.
Meanwhile, the Dust Devils (11-18) watched the last of their first-half playoff hopes disappear, joining the Everett AquaSox (8-21) as the only teams in the NWL to be eliminated from the first half playoff race.
Tri-City jumped out to a 2-0 first-inning lead as Marcos Derkes led off the game with a single to left and stole his team-high 10th base of the year. Drew Weeks, a seventh-round draft pick out of the University of North Florida, then hammered a 2-1 pitch from Spokane starter Reed Garrett over the left center field wall.
The Indians (21-8) tied it up in the top of the third on a two-run double by Seth Spivey. When Tri-City starter Logan Sawyer left the game with two on and one out in the fifth, Carlos Yan came in to put out the fire. But Yan’s first batter, Jose Trevino, pounded a three-run home run to left field to put Spokane up 5-2.
Derkes hit a leadoff home run — his second in his last four games after going 101 games over three seasons without a dinger — to dead center field to cut Spokane’s lead to 5-3.
The Indians tacked on two insurance runs in the top of the eighth, getting an RBI single by Charles Moorman and an RBI double from Eduard Pinto to make it 7-3.
Garrett (3-0), a 16th round draft pick by the Texas Rangers out of Virginia Military Institute, picked up the win, allowing three runs on six hits over six innings. Sawyer (0-1), a 29th-rounder out of Lincoln Memorial (Tenn.) University, took the loss, giving up four runs on six hits over 4 1/3 innings.
Spivey continued his assault on Tri-City pitching, going 3-for-5 with two RBIs and a run scored. In five games against the Dust Devils, Spivey — a 10th-rounder out of Abilene Christian — is 12-for-20 with six runs scored and three RBIs.
Derkes and Weeks each had two hits for Tri-City, combining for three runs and three RBIs.
Note: Dust Devils RHP Dylan Thompson entered the game with one out in the fifth inning in hopes of getting his team out of a two-on, one-out jam. The only problem, Thompson had inadvertently been left off Tri-City’s lineup card, and Spokane manager Tim Hulett immediately brought that to the attention of home plate umpire Mike Goebel. Thompson, ineligible to play, left the mound without throwing a pitch. ... Today’s pitchers will be LHP Ryan Warner (1-2, 6.53 ERA) for Tri-City going against RHP Andrew Barnett (1-0, 4.29 ERA) of Spokane.
w Jack Millikin; 582-1406; email@example.com