EVERETT — So far in their series against the Spokane Indians, the Everett AquaSox had to endure the frustration of losing the close ones.
Monday night the Indians made sure the Sox didn’t have to go through that particular type of frustration again.
Spokane erupted for seven extra-base hits en route to beating Everett 11-7 at Everett Memorial Stadium.
The Indians dominated most of the game, building an 11-3 lead before reliever Trevor Hurley’s adventure in the bottom of the ninth made the game seem closer than it was.
“That one was a little bit easier,” Spokane manager Tim Hulett said. “We tried to make it exciting at the end, but still felt pretty good about it.”
Monday’s game was a departure from the first three games of the series, each of which was decided by one run, Spokane winning two of those.
But Monday the Indians (31-10) displayed just why they have the best record in the Northwest League. David Paisano led a potent offensive attack, going 2-for-5 with a homer and four RBI. And the Indians received a solid effort on the mound from their first three pitchers, who combined to limit Everett to six hits in eight innings.
“(The Indians) were swinging the bat pretty well,” said Sox right fielder Dennis Raben, whose early homer was one of the few Everett highlights. “The first three games of the series we got some good starting pitching, they gave us a chance in the ballgame. Today our pitchers left some balls in the zone and they were aggressive with it and built that lead up early.”
Raben was the only Everett batter with more than one hit, going 2-for-3. Welington Dotel also homered for the Sox (16-25).
During the first three games of the series Spokane did not display its offensive prowess. The Indians, who lead the league in runs scored at 6.2 per game, managed just 11 in the first three with little power.
But everything the Indians hit was on the button Monday. Kyle Higgins finished 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles, and Matt West and Doug Hogan each chipped in with a pair of hits.
“We had good at bats all day long,” Hulett said. “We didn’t just swing at strikes, we were swinging at good strikes today.”
The primary victim of Spokane’s outburst was Sox starting pitcher Kenn Kasparek. The right-hander was lit up for six runs in four innings. After sailing through the first two frames he was touched up for seven hits in his final two, including Paisano’s homer and three long doubles.
All of Spokane’s good work in the first eight innings nearly came unraveled in the ninth. Hurley, brought in with a seven-run lead, walked four in the inning, uncorked a run-scoring wild pitch and also surrendered a two-run single to Nate Tenbrink as Everett pulled within four. However, the tying run never came to the plate.
Everett grabbed the lead in the bottom of the second when Raben launched a ball out of the park to dead center, staking the Sox to a 1-0 lead. The homer was Raben’s third of the season.
Spokane countered with three in the third. Paisano lined a two-run double off the right-center wall to give the Indians the lead. Then after he advanced to third on a ground out, Paisano appeared to get gunned down at the plate by first baseman Brandon Fromm on Mike Bianucci’s grounder. However, the umpire ruled Paisano snuck his arm under catcher Travis Howell’s tag, making it 3-1.
Spokane then broke the game open in the fourth. Higgins lofted an RBI double off the right-center wall, then Paisano deposited the ball into the homer porch in right for a two-run shot, his fifth of the season to make it 6-1.
Everett got back within shouting distance in the bottom of the fourth. With the bases loaded Fromm rolled a single into left. One run scored, and when Bianucci’s throw from left field got away, a second came home to cut the deficit to 6-3.
But Spokane dashed comeback hopes with two in the fifth and three in the seventh, Dennis Guinn and Hogan smacking two-run doubles and Higgins adding his second RBI double of the game, upping the lead to 11-3.
Everett scored a consolation run in the seventh on Dotel’s solo homer to center, his third of the season.