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Spokane Indians pregame: Justin Slaten to make his first pro start against Tri-City

The Spokane Indians face the Tri-City Dust Devils in the second of a three-game Northwest League series at Avista Stadium at 6:35 p.m.

The Indians (9-3, first in North) will send right-hander Justin Slaten (no record) against RHP Nick Thwaits (0-1, 4.32) for the Dust Devils (5-7, fourth in South).

Slaten will make his professional debut. The Texas Rangers third-round pick out of New Mexico made 13 starts for the Lobos and went 5-5 with a 2.51 ERA and 98 Ks in 82 1/3 innings over 13 starts. Slaten, a 6-foot-4, 200-pound 21-year-old native of Texas, was an all-Mountain West second-team selection.

Twaits has started two games for Tri-City and has struck out 11 with two walks in 8 1/3 innings.

Roster updates: INF Jayce Easley is nursing an injury and was sent back to extended spring training in Arizona. He has been on the roster “inactive” for a week. RHP Jen-Ho Tseng was officially added to roster and will start on Thursday. The 24-year-old made appearances with Cubs in 2017 and ’18. Last season Tseng went 2-15 with a 6.27 ERA for the Cubs Triple-A affiliate in Iowa.

Lineup: 1) Strahm-CF; 2) Gardner-1B; 3) Anderson-DH; 4) Crim-DH; 5) McReynolds-3B; 6) Garica-C; 7) Joseph-RF; 8) Inoa-SS; 9) Irizarry-2B.

Weather: First pitch – Cloudy and muggy, 40% chance thunderstorms, 77. Final out – cloudy, 50% chance thunderstorms, 67

Player to watch: Blaine Crim. The Rangers’ 19th-round pick in the 2019 draft out of Mississippi College is off to a hot start in his first pro season. The 22-year-old first base is hitting .500/.519/.615 with four RBIs over six games with the Indians.

Last night: The Indians were limited to seven hits by five pitchers and fell to the Tri-City Dust Devils 3-1 in the first of a three-game Northwest League series at Avista Stadium on Tuesday, snapping a four-game win streak. Indians starter Florencio Serrano was done after three. He allowed two earned runs on three hits and four walks with five strikeouts.

Jonah McReynolds made a terrific diving stop to his left and made a strong throw to rob Jonny Homza of a base hit in the sixth. In the eighth, Jake Hoover stretched all of his 5-foot-11 frame and leapt to snare a liner by Luke Becker to end the frame.

Ex-Indians news: Curtis Terry went 1 for 5 with his first High-A home run (16th overall) for Down East and J.P. Martinez went 2 for 4 with a double and his seventh stolen base. Martinez is hitting .304/.396/.544 over the last month.

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