Raywilly Gomez’s first name is a combination of two popular Latin singers’ first names.
Gomez hit the right note for the Yakima Bears and struck a sour chord for the Spokane Indians on Thursday night at Avista Stadium.
Gomez’s two-run homer to right field in the fourth inning gave Yakima (15-19) a 2-0 Northwest League win and kept Spokane (18-15) from moving into first place in the East Division with the first half winding down.
“My dad likes salsa music,” said the catcher from the Dominican Republic who was born 20 years ago in New York City.
The Indians could use some salsa-like pep to their bats, having been shut out two times in three days and held to one run in their last 19 innings.
The outcome hurt even more because first-place Boise (19-15) lost to Tri-City 7-2, opening the door for Spokane to sneak into first place with the NWL halfway point coming after Monday’s games.
Boise has four games left, one against Tri-City and three at Yakima. Spokane finishes its three-game series against the Bears tonight, then hosts T-C for four games, including a doubleheader Sunday.
If Boise and Spokane tie at the 38-game divide, Boise clinches the first-half playoff berth because it will have a better record against East teams.
Gomez, a third-year professional, went 3 for 4 and hit his second pro homer on a high fastball from Ben Henry (2-1), who made his first start for the Indians.
“I was looking for that,” Gomez said of the pitch, which scored Zach Walters ahead of him.
Gomez’s other home run came against T-C early this month.
During his first two pro seasons, in the Dominican Summer League and at Missoula of the Pioneer League, Gomez had 432 at-bats without a homer.
Gomez also handled a strong effort by four Bears pitchers. Spokane’s first three hits were infield singles. Michael Olt’s two-out single to left field in the eighth broke that string.
Yakima starter Brad Wilson checked Spokane on two hits but came up one-third of an inning shy of qualifying for the win. Reliever Gregory Robinson pitched into the seventh to earn his fourth win, tying Boise’s Juan Yasser Serrano for the league lead despite working less than 21 innings.
Eury De La Rosa pitched the ninth to record his fourth save and drop his earned-run average to 0.40.
Indians second baseman Santiago Chirino went 2 for 3, reached base three times, and improved his batting average to .385 since joining the team July 16.
The Indians lost for just the fifth time in 17 games at home.
Spokane had also won 17 of 24 overall.
Bears 2, Indians 0
E—Wilson, Henry, Richmond. LOB—Yakima 9, Spokane 8. HR—Gomez (2). SB—Hilt, Ortiz, Hoying. GIDP—Zabala, Olt, Strausborger. DP—Yakima 2 (Freeman, Arbelo), (Walters, Freeman, Arbelo), Spokane (Profar, Chirino, Murphy).
|De La Rosa S,4||1.0||1||0||0||0||1||0.40|
PB—Nicholas. WP—Robinson 2, Rowen. IR-S—Robinson 2-0, Hogben 2-0. T—2:58. A—4,076.
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