Zunino’s homer lifts AquaSox to win over Indians

SPOKANE — Seattle Mariners first-round pick Mike Zunino continued a successful Northwest League campaign Saturday night, hitting a three-run home run in the top of the seventh inning to give the AquaSox a 6-5 victory over the Spokane Indians.

The victory ended a three-game losing streak for the Frogs.

Jamodrick McGruder led off the seventh with a walk and Marcus Littlewood followed with a single, setting the stage for Zunino’s homer, which gave the AquaSox their third and final lead of the game. The homer was Zunino’s Northwest League-leading ninth of the season.

Sox teammates Patrick Kivlehan and Taylor Ard, who have eight home runs apiece and were tied for the league lead going into the game, also have twice as many at bats as Zunino (105).

In just 28 games, Zunino has been a strong source of offense for the AquaSox, batting .377 after a four-hit performance on Saturday. Zunino also batted in four runs, bringing his season total to 32 — good enough for sixth in the NWL.

The Sox got additional offensive help with two hits apiece from Kivlehan and recent call-up James Zamarripa. Zamarripa — who was playing centerfield in his first game since being promoted Friday from Pulaski of the Appalachian League — drove in a run with an RBI-single to left field in the top of the fourth inning.

Ard went 0-for-5 Saturday night, ending his 16-game hitting streak.

Frogs’ starting pitcher Dylan Unsworth remained undefeated this season, improving to 6-0 with a 3.66 earned-run average. Unsworth struck out five batters and allowed all five Spokane runs in six innings.

Cam Schiller led Spokane, batting 3-for-4 with a two-run home run and an RBI-double.

The Indians threatened in the bottom of the eighth inning. The first two batters reached base and Spokane eventually loaded the bases with only one out. But reliever Dominic Leone struck out the final two batters of the inning and pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to earn his fourth save of the season.

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