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Spokane Indians bats shut down by four Eugene pitchers

UPDATED: Tue., July 30, 2019

From staff reports

EUGENE – The Spokane Indians have been running into a lot of top prospects lately. They saw another one on Tuesday at PK Park.

Ryan Jensen struck out five in two dominant innings and the Eugene Emeralds topped the Indians 2-0 in the second of a three-game Northwest League series.

The Indians (4-4 second half) have been shut out twice in the last three games.

Jensen, 21, was the Chicago Cubs first-round pick in this year’s MLB draft out of Fresno State. He had made three previous starts for Eugene, covering just 4 2/3 innings.

Jensen struck out the side in the top of the first, using an upper-90s fastball and wicked change.

The Emeralds (4-4) took the early lead in the bottom half on an RBI single by Grayson Byrd, son of former MLB pitcher Paul Byrd.

Jensen walked Luis Asuncion to start the second but had two more strikeouts to finish his fourth start without giving up a hit or run, lowering his earned-run average to 1.35.

Eugene picked up another run in the second. Luis Diaz popped up on the infield, but no one called for it and it fell for a single. Diaz scored on a double by Fernando Kelli.

Base runners were hard to come by for the Indians. Through the sixth they managed two hits and one walk. Blaine Crim (2 for 4, .347) led off the seventh with a single, but after a strikeout he was erased on a double play to end the inning.

In the eighth, Derwin Barreto (2 for 3) singled and stole second with two outs, but Cristian Inoa struck out looking on a curveball to leave Barreto in scoring position.

Crim doubled with two down in the ninth and was replaced by pinch-runner Starling Joseph. Asuncion’s blast to left was hauled in on the track by Zac Taylor to end it.

Indians starter Zak Kent went two innings and gave up a run on three hits with a strikeout. Juan Castillo allowed a run on two hits in three innings. Warner Leal struck in two innings and Daniel Robert picked up a pair of strikeouts in his inning.

Blake Whitney (2-0) earned the win for Eugene with four innings of two-hit relief with four strikeouts.

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