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Ryne Ogren’s homer lifts Everett over Spokane Indians 4-3

UPDATED: Wed., Aug. 15, 2018, 10:12 p.m.

Sometimes it takes just one pitch.

Ryne Ogren launched a full-count fastball into the screen above the left-field wall in the eighth inning and the Everett AquaSox edged the Spokane Indians 4-3 in the second of a three-game Northwest League series at Avista Stadium on Wednesday.

Ogren’s homer came off reliever Austin Pettibone, who otherwise retired every other batter he faced over two innings.

“The guy ran into a nice 3-2 fastball and put it over the fence,” manager Kenny Holmberg said. “It happens.”

The Indians (11-9) fell behind division-leading Vancouver (13-7) by two games.

Despite the loss, Indians starter Seth Nordlin remains confident in his team.

“I think that we have the team to go all the way and win it all,” he said. “First half we were just getting our feet underneath us. Second half we’re ready to go.”

Nordlin led the league in strikeouts entering play with 61 in 50 2/3 innings.

The righty added five strikeouts to his total and allowed three runs on seven hits and a walk over five innings and left the game tied at 3.

“Striking guys out, when I get to one or two strikes, I like to go for the punchy,” Nordlin admitted. “(Everett) is scrappier than most – a lot of lefties which makes it a little tougher.”

Nordlin ran into trouble right from the jump.

With one down in the first, Josh Stowers lashed a single to right and with Hasuan Viera holding the runner, Bobby Honeyman bounced one through the hole in the right side to put runners at the corners.

Cal Raleigh followed with a double off the wall in right to plate Stowers, and Nick Rodriguez’ groundout brought in another run.

Everett (10-10) added to the lead in the third. Ryan Ramiz drew a walk and Honeyman singled on the ground to move him to third. Raleigh lined a single to right and Ramiz plated the third run.

“They caught a lot of breaks,” Nordlin said of the ground-ball singles. “I forced the ball on the ground and some stuff got through. Overall I thought we played a pretty good game.”

“They got him a little early,” Holmberg said. “He’s a good starting pitcher. Like he usually does he settled in and gave us a chance to win. Proud of his effort.”

The Indians picked up a run in the bottom of the inning. With one down, J.P. Martinez walked and stole second. With two down, Curtis Terry flared one off the end of his bat into short left and Ramiz’s diving attempt was in vain.

Martinez, running on the play, scored without a throw and Terry ended up with an RBI double.

Three straight singles – by Jax Biggers, Starling Joseph and Tanner Gardner – to lead off the fourth made it 3-2.

Cristian Inoa grounded into a double play and Joseph scored to tie it.

It stayed that way until the eighth.

With two down in the frame, sidearm reliever Pettibone got too much of the plate on the payoff pitch and Ogren’s sky-high fly went for his third homer of the season.

“That’s just baseball,” Nordlin said. “Stuff like that happens when you’re out there throwing strikes. I’ll take Pettibone in that situation any time.”

In the bottom half, Hasuan Viera reached on a drag bunt, went to second on a wild pitch and took third on the overthrow. Terry then walked to put runners at the corners.

Diosbel Arias struck out – after taking an inside strike two that looked a lot like ball four to Terry – and Biggers rolled over to first to end the threat. The Indians went in order in the ninth.

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