The Dust Devils booster club announced the winners of the first Player of the Month award. OF Francisco Sosa, who hit .370 (10-for-27) in the first eight games of July, driving in 11 runs and scoring five during the stretch, earned the Offensive player of the month.
The Pitcher of the month was Shane Broyles, who won three consecutive starts from July 4-July 15, allowing just four runs on 10 hits over 18 innings during the stretch.
RHP Peter Tago on the mound for Tri-City tonight. He had his best start as a professional five days ago, allowing no runs on three hits over eight innings in a 2-1 win over Salem-Keizer.
He's still very young. Tago was drafted out of high school in 2010 and signed with the Colorado Rockies late that year. He has struggled with some bad starts since making his pro debut last season, but rarely has he put two together.
Spokane gets on the board first when Cam Schiller — the Indians' No. 3 hitter — doubles to the wall in right center and scores on a single to left by Royce Bolinger.
By the way, Bolinger keeps three streaks going with that RBI single: an 11-game hitting streak, a nine-game RBI streak and a 19-game reached-base streak. A pretty nice run for the rookie out of Gonzaga.
Dust Devils tie it up at 1 in the bottom of the first. Rosell Herrera — the No. 2 hitter — doubles into the gap in left center field, moves to third on a throwing error by Spokane third baseman Ryan Rua and scores on an opposite-field single by Miguel De Leon.
A bad break for Tri-City in the top of the fifth. With a runner on second and two outs, Indians' second baseman Patrick Cantwell hit a hard grounder to shortstop Herrera, who got in front of it, but the ball took a nasty hop right into his face. Herrera, who was momentarily blinded, couldn't complete the play as Cantwell made it to first with an infield single.
No run scored, so the damage on the field was minimal. But Herrera had to leave the game, replaced by Zach Osborne.
No doubt Herrera had committed some errors at short, but he provides good energy out there, and he's been productive at the plate, driving in 14 runs.
Spokane takes a 2-1 lead in the top of the sixth after Rua hits a one-out double to left center and scores on an RBI single to left by Joe Maloney.
Tago looked pretty strong through six innings, but the 6-2 right-hander leaves after 87 pitches with two outs in the seventh. No walks, nine hit and just two earned runs. I'm sure what the Rockies are going to like, too, is that he continued his trend of throwing a lot of ground balls — 14 of the 20 outs, in fact, came on the ground.
However, the Dust Devils haven't helped themselves with only five base hits through seven innings.
Hutcheson singles to lead off the ninth, a good start for a team down by one run. But the Dust Devils can't push the run across.
That's been the case in their last three losses. Tri-City will put itself in a position to win but can't get that final hit when it counts.
Getting to the brink of winning isn't good enough if you can't push through that final hurdle.
Bottom line, the Dust Devils come close, but can't get it done.
Spokane 2, Tri-City 1.