The skies were ominous and the winds blew all afternoon and evening, but the storms never came to Avista Stadium on Saturday.
It might have been better for the home team if they had.
No. 9 hitter Jack Stronach – batting .195 for the season – went 3 for 4 with a solo homer and three RBIs and the Tri-City Dust Devils topped the Spokane Indians 8-3 in the finale of a three-game Northwest League series at Avista Stadium on Saturday.
The Indians (8-8) fell into a first-place tie with the Dust Devils in the North Division second-half standings.
Dust Devils starter Ethan Elliott pitched four scoreless innings and allowed one hit with no walks and four strikeouts.
Indians starter Leury Tejada was coming off his first win with Spokane, a three-inning scoreless outing at Eugene on July 31.
After an uneventful first inning, Tejada got into hot water in the second. With one down, Logan Driscoll worked a walk, then Sean Guilbe drilled one down the left-field line for a double. Tejada fell behind Luke Becker 3-0 and his line-drive single to right plated both runners.
Alison Quintero crushed one off the wall in left-center and Becker tried to score from first. But Derwin Barreto’s relay throw beat him to the plate and Francisco Ventura applied the tag for the second out of the inning.
Stronach, the San Diego Padres’ 21st-round pick in this year’s draft out of UCLA, doubled down the left-field line to drive in Quintero to make it 3-0. Tejada then hit Jordy Barley, and Indians manager Kenny Hook came out to get him.
Tejada (1-2, 3.45) only threw 16 of his 39 pitches for strikes and was charged with five runs – three earned – on four hits and two walks in 1 2/3 innings.
Hook wasn’t upset so much with the contact off Tejada, rather the lack of control.
“You know, he snuck out of the first inning after the walk – and that was a nice double play – but that (second) inning, you know, that’s something we really haven’t seen out of him, falling behind every hitter right there.
“You know, 3-1, 2-0 to every guy – you’re going to get hurt.”
Nick Starr took over and he coaxed a routine ground ball to short, but Barreto booted it to load the bases. Kelvin Melean then beat out an infield single and two runners scored on the play for a six-run inning.
Stronach hit a solo home run in the fourth, just out of the reach of right fielder Starling Joseph.
In the fifth, Indians reliever Josh Smith walked Guilbe and Quintero, then Stronach lashed a double into the left-field corner to drive in another run.
The Indians rallied for three run in the fifth, including a leadoff double by Alexander Ovalles and an RBI single by Obie Ricumstrict.
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