BOISE – A ninth-inning rally fell short and the Spokane Indians lost to the Boise Hawks 5-3 in a Northwest League matchup at Memorial Stadium on Sunday.
The Indians (18-19) fell one game behind Tri-City – 5-4 winners over Hillsboro – in the North Division with one game to play in the first half.
Spokane scored once in the ninth and had the potential go-ahead run at the plate, but Chad Smith struck out with two runners on to end the game.
The Indians got on top early. Darius Day and Blaine Prescott drew back-to-back walks from Boise starter Rice Garcia to start the game. After a ground out and strikeout, Smith came through with two down, delivering an RBI single.
But Boise (16-21) countered in the bottom of the frame. Steven Linkous singled and scored on Daniel Suero’s triple. After a strikeout, Jacob Bosiokovic singled to left and Suero scored. Bosiokovic moved up to third on a throwing error by C.D. Pelham on a pickoff attempt, then scored on a Willie Abreu ground out to make it 3-1.
In the top of the third, the Indians drew a run closer. Seth Spivey hit a ground-rule double and came around on Preston Scott’s single up the middle, which was deflected by pitcher Garcia.
The Hawks added a pair of insurance runs in the seventh against reliever Tyler Ferguson. With one out, Garrett Hampson walked, then stole second and third bases. Hampson scored on Bosiokovic’s ground out to first and Abreu followed with his third home run of the season.
The Indians tried to rally in the ninth. Charles Leblanc led off with a walk and, after Day struck out, Leblanc advanced to third on Prescott’s infield single and error by first baseman Bosiokovic. Spivey grounded out to first and Leblanc scored, with Prescott moving up to second.
Scott reached on an infield single to third to bring up the potential go-ahead run, but Smith struck out swinging to end the rally.
Pelham (0-1) struck out seven in three innings, but gave up three runs – two earned – on four hits and two walks.
The teams play again on Monday in Boise at 6:15 p.m. in the last game of the first half.
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